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International Marine Volunteers

At International Marine Volunteers our mission is to inspire our volunteers to make a difference in the world around them by providing them with life-changing opportunities and experiences, and creating awareness that eco-tourism, conservation, community, research and education can all dovetail into a sustainable and mutually beneficial relationship. The International Marine Volunteers programme offers individuals from across the world the opportunity to experience unique marine related projects in the biodiversity rich environment of the Greater Dyer Island Area, in Gansbaai, South Africa. Volunteering aboard the vessels of our sister companies, Marine Dynamics Shark Tours and Dyer Island Cruises Whale and Eco Tours, the opportunity to gain exposure to various marine species makes for an unforgettable experience. Every trip sports a dedicated marine biologist as a guide, who educates volunteers and clients, increasing their knowledge of the target species and ecology of the area.

Our conservation partner, The Dyer Island Conservation Trust (DICT) is a leader in marine conservation and the environmental pillar of our organisation. Volunteers are afforded an opportunity to partake in data capturing for studies conducted by our marine biologists on board Slashfin, the shark cage diving vessel and Dream Catcher, the whale watching vessel. In addition to this, the DICT research vessel, Lwazi, affords long-term volunteers the opportunity to be more involved in research excursions. The Conservation projects that we are involved in are:

Great White Shark Research: We research the population, migration and behavioural habits as well as various other aspects
of the Great Whites by recording sightings, tagging and tracking and dorsal fin identification. Duties of Volunteers will vary depending on their skills and interest in the active study of marine biology. Volunteer assist with observational data capture and photographic data. Volunteer staying for a minimum of a month might be fortunate enough to go out on the research boat where they may observe tagging of a shark or learn how to track sharks via acoustic methods. On land, volunteers may learn about data-capturing and matching dorsal fins for population counts.

African Penguin & Seabird Sanctuary: APSS is a state of the art centre for the rehabilitation of seabirds in distress, with a special focus on conserving the African Penguin. Injured, oiled, or sick birds are collected or brought to the sanctuary for care and recuperation and when they are fit and healthy again we release them back into the wild. APSS is also set up for tourist visits and plays a key role in education. Volunteers are involved in the daily cleaning of the facility, assisting with prepping medicated fish, recording medical records and data and telling visitors about what we do. Volunteers might even have the chance to handle the birds by themselves, but only if the rehabilitator feels that you show an aptitude for
this.

Marine Pollution and Strandings: Regular beach clean-ups are organised and volunteers might get the opportunity to interact with local school groups who help with these clean-ups. Volunteers might also assist in the search and retrieve of animals, recording data and assist with dissections.

The Dyer Island Conservation Trust work with a dedicated team of students from the nearby Masakhane township as part of our
Dyer Island Conservation Environmental Education Programme (DEEP). Various marine lectures and activities inspire these children to be our future marine conservationists.

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Listing Location

5 Geelbek Street, Van Dyks Bay, South Africa

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