Join us onboard!
Thank you for your interest in wanting to learn more about becoming an Assistant Research volunteer with MWSRP. By joining us aboard our research vessel and helping us collect baseline data on whale sharks and the marine environment, volunteers are a crucial part of the success of our research and organisation.
Volunteering with MWSRP is a life-changing experience. Our programme offers you the opportunity to get hands-on with research and data collection, increase your knowledge on marine conservation, and have a great time doing it. We look for enthusiastic people with a love of nature who are not afraid of hard work!
How can you help?
We do not side-line volunteers into ‘bit part’ roles, but instead offer you the chance to get stuck in with every aspect of what we do, from measuring sharks in the water to taking I.D shots and helping us record our data. You can become a valuable asset to our work in the time you spend with us, and in doing so help to conserve whale sharks and their marine habitat. Please do bear in mind that this is NOT a pleasure cruise and that you will be expected to help us with the data collection and data entry.
Not a marine biologist? Not a problem! We welcome people of all ages, talents, and nationalities. We find that it is the diverse skills that our volunteers bring that make a huge impact on the Programme.
MV FELICITY – BOAT BASED
Arrive in Male’ where you’ll be met and taken to board MV Felicity, ready for an overnight leg to South Ari atoll. You’ll wake up in the beautiful lagoons of South Ari atoll. From our base on Felicity, we’ll take daily survey trips out on the dhoni through the largest Marine Protected Area of the Maldives, South Ari Marine Protected Area. Home to a group of whale sharks that are unusually present all year round and display the highest natural residency rate of anywhere in the world. When your Expeditions comes to and you’ll make the return journey to Male’ in time for your flight home.
DHIGURAH ISLAND (SOUTH ARI ATOLL – LAND BASED)
Dhigurah island has been a welcome port of call for MWSRP since the very first days of the charity back in 2006. Dhigurah is a long, narrow, atoll rim island that follows a rough SW to NE orientation. A huge lagoon can be found protecting the west side of the island, which is one of the more reliable places to see megafauna in this area, particularly in the south west monsoon. Only about one third of the island is inhabited, at the northern end, which is also where the harbour can be found. The rest of the island is covered in mature foliage and numerous vegetable plantations. From Dhigurah harbour, we’ll take daily survey trips out on the dhoni through the largest Marine Protected Area of the Maldives, South Ari Marine Protected Area. The Marine Protected Area starts just outside Dhigurah harbour.
Arrival and Orientation
MV FELICITY – BOAT BASED
You will be met by a representative at Velana International Airport, Male’ and escorted to the MV Felicity. When your Expeditions comes to an end you’ll make the return journey to Male’ in time for your flight home.
DHIGURAH – LAND BASED
You will be met by a representative at Velana International Airport, Male’ and escorted to the speedboat transfer to Dhigurah island.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, water and tea/coffee are fully inclusive whilst on board.
Menus include Maldivian and some European dishes, freshly prepared on board by chefs who will do their best to cater for the most specific dietary requirements. Please discuss any dietary requirements with us beforehand.
To volunteer with MWSRP, you must fill out and submit an application form.
Once you’ve submitted your application, we will reply within 2 weeks. Make sure you check your SPAM folder too! If you have any questions that have not been answered in the FAQ section of this website, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected].
Thank you for your interest. We look forward to reviewing your application.
– the MWSRP team
- May 21st – 31st (10 nights) BOAT BASED – MV Felicity
- July 21st – 31st (10 nights) BOAT BASED – MV Felicity
- August 1st – 11th (10 nights) BOAT BASED – MV Felicity
- August 15th – 25th (10 nights) BOAT BASED – MV Felicity
- October 8th – 18th (10 nights) BOAT BASED – MV Felicity
- October 29th – 8th November (10 nights) BOAT BASED – MV Felicity
- December 1st – 11th (10 nights) BOAT BASED – MV Felicity
- December 23rd – 2nd January (10 nights) BOAT BASED – MV Felicity
Volunteer fees are an essential part of helping to keep MWSRP in operation by conducting research and conservation initiatives. These fees go towards covering the rental of the research dhoni (boat) + “mother” boat (when boat-based expeditions), accommodation, food, fuel, and project-related expenses. MWSRP does not own a research vessel or have staff/volunteer accommodation; therefore, we must partner up for the Expeditions.
Included: food & water, accommodation, research vessel, guiding.
Not included: international flight, travel insurance, snorkelling equipment.
More information: [email protected]
MWSRP research projects are located in environmentally and culturally sensitive parts of the Maldives. We are privileged guests in the Maldives and ask that all volunteers be mindful of that. Volunteers naturally represent and serve as ambassadors of the MWSRP and we insist that they recognise local cultural sensitivities and adapt their behaviour accordingly.
MWSRP has a responsibility to minimise negative impacts on local environments and communities where we work. We work hard to ensure just and sustainable practices when conducting research, working within the communities and during down-time. It is ultimately the volunteer's responsibility to bring their best self.