Volunteer in the Caribbean and release your inner predator! Join us in the hunt to remove the invasive Lionfish and save the reef from this invasive species while learning about marine conservation in Belize. Earn your PADI Open Water certification or further your diving certification while on the island. You will be spearing the invasive lionfish and participating in other conservation dives to make a difference!
Based on a tiny private island in the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve Park, off the coast of Placencia, this award winning marine conservation project has worked in conjunction with the Belize Fisheries Department for the past 13 years researching issues affecting the world’s second largest coral reef. Focusing on the removal of invasive Lionfish to the Belizean waters, as well as monitoring Lobster populations, Conch migration, coral health, fish species and whale shark identification, volunteers have a great deal of work to do in the blue waters of the Caribbean.
Thirty years after their accidental introduction, lionfish have conquered the Atlantic, the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico wreaking havoc on coral reef ecosystems. Unlike in its native Pacific Ocean habitats, there are no natural predators in the Atlantic and Caribbean to keep this invasive species in check. Hence, Lionfish populations have exploded, gobbling up native coral reef fish and commercially important species that have no natural defense mechanisms against this invasive species. Lionfish threaten the very survival and sustainability of coral reef ecosystems in the Caribbean and Atlantic Oceans.
What can you do to stop the Lionfish invasion? This program focuses on spearing and eradicating this invasive species. Join us in our effort to protect the reef and turn the tide in our battle against this devastating invasive species. Release your inner predator and help us remove this invasive species to end this ecological nightmare. All research information gathered is given to the Belize Fisheries Department where important decisions rely on the data. Join this exciting project and play an active role in the eradication of an invasive species, as well as gaining your PADI Open Water scuba certification.
Volunteers generally dive two or three times a day and experience at least one night dive during their program. Monday to Friday are spent on the island, while on weekends, volunteers are back on the mainland, relaxing and enjoying the local life.
PADI qualifications are provided for non-divers or those wishing to improve skills.
- Project Activities: Diving, removal of the invasive Lionfish, monitoring Lobster populations, Conch migration, coral health, fish species and whale shark identification
- Project Availability: Arrivals every Sunday. Closed for the month of September due to weather conditions and maintenance.
- Project Duration: 2-8 weeks
- Working Hours: 6am to 5pm, 2-3 dives per day (weather dependent)
- Location: Sapodilla Cayes Marine National Park, Belize
- Support: 24-hour on-site support from our Project Leaders and Site Director
- Minimum Age: 18+
- Language: English