Family Volunteering -
2 - 12 weeks
Up to 10 people
2 - 12 weeks
Up to 10 people
What's the project about?
Southern Mozambique is one of the top 10 scuba diving locations in the world, home to large populations of whale sharks, manta rays and humpback whales. Our marine family volunteer projects are focused on the long term conservation of these vulnerable ocean giants. The program takes a holistic approach to marine conservation, where volunteers gather data on a diverse range of small and large marine creatures in order to gain a full understand of the ocean ecosystem.
How will I be contributing?
The goal of the project is for marine conservation volunteers to consistently gather data on ocean megafauna, to keep the national whale shark and manta ray databases current. You will collect population data, tag and measure animals, monitor environmental conditions, take id photos and record behaviour. Marine family volunteers will also monitor coral reefs and work in the mangrove forests, plus participate in the programme’s microplastic removal project.
What makes this project ethical?
The family volunteer projects primary goals include:
- Marine megafauna research. This research focuses on the area’s strong populations of whale sharks and manta rays, endangered reef turtles, and migratory humpback whales (July – September). Their goal is to complete world-leading research on the diversity, habitat use, demographics and movement patterns of these animals to inform long term conservation practices and strategies. By combining this research with data collected on the smaller marine creatures, such as plankton, sea horses and smaller rays, a picture of Tofo’s complete ocean ecosystem can be formed.
- Coral reef and estuary preservation. The project have achieved great success in the protection and preservation of the local reefs and mangroves (marine forests). Volunteers play a vital role in the ongoing conservation of the estuary and associated marine and coastal wildlife.
- Community engagement. 60% of Mozambique’s people live in coastal areas, placing increasing and significant pressure on the marine environment. Illegal poaching and over-fishing are endemic. Volunteers will have the opportunity to visit local communities and understand the challenges faced by communities who rely on the ocean for food.
- Humpback whale research. Southern Mozambique’s waters are the winter breeding ground of large numbers of humpback whales. The programme here collects information on behaviour, acoustics, genetics and demographics, and is building a photo-id database of individual whales. One of the uses of the data is to counter the ‘scientific whaling’ argument, that you must kill a whale in order to determine its age.
For more information on participating in annual whale research, please visit our Humpback Whale Research page. Family volunteers are welcome to join the Humpback Whale Research Programme as well.
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