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Marine Conservation Expedition in Fiji

Marine Conservation Expedition in Fiji

From {{totalPrice}} EUR Extra kosten tijdens tour None
Dit is zonder vliegtickets. Wij helpen je graag om de goedkoopste tickets te vinden.
Wat is inbegrepen?
From {{totalPrice}} EUR
Dit is zonder vliegtickets. Wij helpen je graag om de goedkoopste tickets te vinden.
Wat is inbegrepen?
Duur
29 dagen
Begint in
Suva
Eindigt in
Suva
Grootte van de groep
Maximum 24
Dive in crystal blue water and discover the rich biodiversity of the South Pacific while assisting with research which will aid the local management of marine protected areas. Contribute to national efforts to conserve Fiji’s delicate coral reefs and marine ecosystems while living on a research base on the stunning Caqalai Island. Travel to idyllic traditional Fijian villages; gain your PADI Advanced Open Water qualification and contribute towards tangible, long-term community benefits.
Travel to the clear blue waters of the South Pacific Ocean, learn or improve your diving in one of the world’s most beautiful tropical countries and discover an incredible underwater environment.

Join an international team of volunteers on this marine conservation expedition which focuses on the collection of important marine inventory data from underwater research dives. This research is then made available to local communities and organisations to help better inform management decision making. The project is geared at providing long term benefits to the local communities through strategies designed to help guarantee food security for future generations.

Learning new scuba diving skills, conducting underwater surveys in the warm, turquoise waters of the Pacific, spending time getting to know the local community and their traditional villages, teaching children about environmental conservation during weekly school visits, assisting in the creation of coral farms, discover a myriad of fascinating marine creatures to study, enjoy island hopping, stunning remote island locations, scuba diving, snorkelling, traditional ceremonies, idyllic traditional Fijian villages, white beaches, climbing volcanic mountains, enjoying breathtaking scenery, cultural immersion in the Fijian way of life, learning to speak Fijian.

Scuba Diving Requirements & Additional Courses
You will spend the majority of your time on this expedition scuba diving and as such you need to be qualified to at least PADI Open Water, or equivalent. Non-divers can join for 8- and 12-week durations, our partner will supply you with all the training you need to be certified up to PADI Advanced Open Water. The 4 week duration is only open for divers already qualified to PADI Open Water Diver or equivalent. For non-divers wishing to attend for 4 weeks, we can recommend local dive centers that will help you qualify before your intended start date.
Reisroute

Marine Conservation Expedition in Fiji

About Your Location

The idyllic island of Caqalai (pronounced ‘than-ga-lai’) is in the Lomaiviti island group. Caqalai is a tiny island (you can walk around it in 15 minutes) defined by white sand beaches and a lush interior. The island is on the edge of an expansive reef system and nearby to 10 small villages located on the neighbouring Moturiki Island.

Aims & Objectives

Designing our projects in collaboration with local organisations and communities to ensure that they are locally driven
Defining clear short-, mid-, and long-term objectives with sustainable outcomes for all our projects
Tracking, recording and publishing the impact of each of our projects
Ensuring that credit for the results of any project, along with any data collected, research conducted, or intellectual property developed remains the property of local organisations
Building in-country capacity by assisting local organisations in becoming self-sustaining
Ensuring that ever participant is assigned a clear role and that they are fully trained and supported to carry out their work alongside specialised staff.

Project Life

You will first complete an initial training phase where you will learn to accurately identify locally targeted fish, invertebrate or coral species. Training will involve snorkel and dive point outs with local staff, as well as learning benthic, fish, coral and invertebrate species.

Depending on weather conditions, we aim for everyone to have 1 or 2 dives/snorkels each day, 5 days a week, during which you will conduct underwater surveys after you complete your training. Besides diving, you should expect to be involved in additional projects and activities, including training sessions, marine debris surveys and removal, environmental education session or alternative income training, depending on local and project needs. You will also be required to complete base duties.

You will stay on Caqalai Island base in basic dormitory accommodation with your fellow volunteers with a communal kitchen, living and work area, taking turns with base duties on a rotational basis.

Weekends are usually yours to rest up and relax, or perhaps even explore some of the surrounding area, all depending on the project needs and requirements.

Project Details

Our partner has joined with local NGOs and organisations in order to identify the best ways to assist the community to conserve their marine resources. The following research priorities have been identified:

Data collection on targeted fish species.
Habitat mapping for coral reefs and mangrove (Coral Reef and Mangrove Habitat mapping).
Development of an environmental education and awareness program for local schools and communities.
Development of terrestrial and marine environmental best practice on Caqalai Island

Our partner works closely with the Fiji Department of Fisheries and the Fiji Locally Managed Marine Area Network to ensure that the impact of this research and program remains is both relevant and useful for the wider community.

How This Program Makes a Difference

The communities with which we work do not have access to the necessary resources to carry out regular data collection in their fishing grounds and there has been a significant detriment to coral and fish stocks due to natural disaster events and unsustainable fishing practice.

Data collected on our volunteer powered surveys is presented to the local community land owners along with alternative livelihood methods and management strategies to help local stakeholders to make informed decisions with regards to their vital marine resources and long term food security.

Mandatory Volunteer Requirements

Minimum age of 18
Police Clearance Certificate (not older than 6 months)
PADI Open Water certificate to join the 4-week program
Medical form
All marine expedition volunteers must ensure that their travel insurance covers diving to 30m and medical evacuation in the event of a diving emergency.
Basic level of competency in English
Work Permit Visa paid locally in cash (Ask your travel advisor for more information)
Acceptance subject to availability

Inclusions

Pick-up at Suva Airport (specific pick-up times apply)
Transfer to base location
Welcome meeting
Location orientation
Safe and basic accommodation (shared)
Meals while on project
PADI Open Water and Advanced Open Water (for 8 and 12 week volunteers)
PADI Coral Reef Research Diver Distinctive Speciality
Coral reef ecology
Diving compressor training workshop
Use of O2 equipment workshop
Community work workshop
All necessary project equipment and materials but not your own personal diving gear, the full list of requirements is included in the field manual for example, wetsuit, diving mask, fins etc
All necessary project training by experienced long term staff
First Aid & CPR training
24-hour in-country support
24-hour emergency phone
Access to alumni services and discounts

What to Bring

Volunteers MUST bring the following equipment:

Mask & snorkel
Fins & booties: Open-heel fins to wear with booties are highly recommended; if bringing closed-heel (bare foot) fins you must also bring booties for walking in shallows
Wetsuit (recommended 3mm Nov-May & 5mm June-Oct)
Waterproof watch (suitable for 30m depth); ideally, a dive computer is highly recommended
Delayed Surface Marker Buoy (DSMB) with spool reel
Certification cards
Dive slate and pencil
Dive log book

The rest such as BCD's, regulators and weighted belts are provided locally.

What Makes a Good Volunteer?

Volunteers need to be flexible and keep an open mind concerning their placements as situations can arise beyond our control which could require you to be placed at a different project than the one you have initially chosen. We will of course always do our utmost to fulfill your initial wishes but do remember that where you are going is quite different from where you are coming and as such one should be prepared for things not always going according to plan.

Volunteering and intercultural travel share a common trait: the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. This program is designed for proactive individuals and groups that are prepared to adapt to the local environment and its current needs. Naturally, the scheduling and activities of our program are subject to change. Alterations in activities are mainly due to changes in local conditions, which we believe is part of what makes overseas programs the interesting adventure and incredible learning experience that they are.

How Long Should I Volunteer?

Our projects range from 1 week up to approx. 30 weeks. Projects have a specified minimum stay, then it’s up to you how long you can commit. In our experience the longer you stay the more you will gain, as your understanding of the project broadens and you take on more responsibilities. Every volunteer will be given a certificate of appreciation at the end of their stay as a symbol of volunteering stay.

Please Note

In the villages, women must cover their shoulders and knees at all times. It is perfectly fine to wear short sleeved shirts as long as shoulders are covered. Men should bring a sarong too but it is a bit more flexible and they may not need to wear it all the time. Also a short sleeved shirt for school and to village functions but at other times it is acceptable to wear trousers or shorts. On base, volunteers are free to wear what they wish.
Overzicht

Wat is inbegrepen?

Extra kosten tijdens tour
None

Activiteiten

Free Time
You will be based on Caqalai island, approximately 1 hour by boat from the Viti Levu Mainland and a further 45 minutes to the capital, Suva. You will be working on nearby islands and coastal reefs around the base. In order to travel independently around the area on your days off you must pre-book water taxis with the staff; there is usually a water taxi each morning and afternoon to and from the mainland. Costs will vary based on destination, but would normally be between $60-150FJD return. You will have time off and be free to travel in the local area on the weekends, usually from around 14:00 Friday, coming back to base by 17:00 on Sunday. In this time you could do daytrips such as visiting the old colonial capital Levuka, on nearby Ovalau, or trekking up the mountains there. You can also go snorkelling or scuba diving, relax for a night or two in a nearby resort or go further afield on Viti Levu.

Accommodatie

Accommodation is in shared (mixed gender) huts with shared bathroom facilities at the field station. There is rain water available for cooking, drinking, and washing. Ground water is pumped for other ablutions. Careful water conservation is necessary and water may be rationed during droughts. Basic flush toilet facilities are available, and participants share base duties, including cleaning and other chores. You need to bring your own mosquito net and bedding for example a thin sleeping bag liner.

If you need to stay additional nights before or after your project you need to book these separately, ask your travel consultant for help.

Lokaal vervoer

Arrival
An airport transfer will meet the following two flights arriving in Suva on Fridays. You will be picked up at Suva Airport and dropped off at Pisces Hostel.

1. Fiji Airways (FJ7)
Departure: 08:30 Nadi International (NAN)
Arrival: 09:00 Nausori International (SUV)

2. Fiji Airways (FJ21)
18:30 Nadi International (NAN)
21:00 Nausori International (SUV)

Please note that if you choose to fly at a different time, you will need to make your own way to our meeting point.

You can also take a taxi from Nadi Airport. This is about 250 FJD dollar (110 EUR), and takes 4 hours to get to Suva Center. There are several taxis outside the arrival terminal of Nadi International Airport. Should you choose this option, you will need to make your own way to Pisces Hostel.

Meeting Point on Start Date (Saturday)
The pick-up point for your transfer to the project is at 11:00 in the lobby of Pisces Hostel.

Departure
If you are flying out on a Saturday, you will be dropped off at the airport in Suva on Saturday at around 10:00. Please make sure that you book flights from Suva to Nadi after midday 12:00 to allow yourself enough time to check in and catch your flight. If you are using other transport options to get to Nadi, we will drop you off at Pisces Hostel.

Maaltijden

Volunteers take it in turns to prepare meals for the group. Food is a very basic, mostly vegetarian diet. Breakfast could be porridge, fruit or toast, lunch is beans, vegetables, pasta and sauce, etc. and a typical evening meal may include lentils, pasta, beans, rice and vegetables. Please note, no alcohol is permitted on base.

Houd er rekening mee

Diving Info
During our summer months November to April, the water temperature rises to a very comfortable 27-30°C. Past volunteers recommend 2mm short suits for these temperatures and although this is cyclone season, this time of year is known for calm seas. However, the higher temperature does increase the oceanic plankton growth reducing visibility to around 24-26m. Winter is May to October, when water temperatures are 24-27°C. 3 or 5 mm steamers would be recommended. This time of year is known for fabulous visibility of up to 30m.

Dive Equipment Rental
If you are renting dive equipment locally, pick it up before meeting the team at the pick-up point on Saturday (project start date) and transferring to the project.

Internet Access
You will have limited access to long-distance communications whilst on the program, so make sure friends and family know how often they can expect to hear from you. Mobile/cell phone reception is available on base, although it can be poor at times. It is possible to purchase pay-as-you-go Fijian SIM cards for unlocked phones in Nadi pre-departure. There is no general internet access for volunteers on base. The SIM and credit must be purchased prior to island deployment. It is possible to purchase a pay-as-you-go mobile internet USB stick or WiFi modem, however, internet signal can be poor at times.

Marine Conservation Expedition in Fiji

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