Enjoy daily dives and research to promote fish survival
Experience life under the sea every day, diving deep under the water surrounded by shoals of brightly coloured fish and vibrant coral. As you explore this other world, you'll be helping to promote the survival of coral reefs and the many fish that need them to survive.
You'll be working with a unique marine research organisation performing daily dives to help understand the local ecosystem and develop and implement methods in reef conservation. See for yourself how reefs degrade from physical damage, overfishing, climate change and contamination - and find out from the experts about the work they are doing to reverse this. You'll be spending plenty of time with them, learning all about marine conservation and the complexities of underwater life.
This project takes place off the island of Koh Pha Ngan, a diver’s paradise with stunningly beautiful coral in easy reach off the coast. Novices are very welcome as professional diving instruction is available.
Not only will you be diving in Thailand, one of the world's favourite diving destinations, you will be making a valuable contribution to the future of marine conservation in Thailand.
Whether you are looking to do a scuba diving gap year, are taking a career break or are simply looking for something amazing and different to do for a few weeks, this is a great opportunity to put into practice the diving skills that you learn.
What will I be doing?
On arrival you will be given a thorough induction course on diving and the research undertaken- and for those who are yet to experience diving, the PADI course is an exciting way to get to grips with this project.
Each day you will go out to sea to visit the coral reefs just off the coast, with dives of up to five metres. Here you are plunged into a different world with magnificent examples of the different colours of coral and sea life. As an important member of the team, you will help with taking samples and measurements of the coral mass. Marvel at the different species of fish as you come up close to them, count them and observe their behaviour. There will also be the exciting opportunity to take photographs of the coral and fish to help establish changes that occur.
This is an extremely hands on project where each day you help towards the survival of the world under the sea. Recent volunteers have helped with gathering data that helps with government surveys. There is an ongoing investigation to how much live coral there is, as well as which fish species are there. Volunteers help to grow "nubbins", small coral fragments that grow in aquariums, which will then be planted in the sea when they are big enough. This is a vital step to continue the survival of coral for many generations to come.
All this takes place from the very friendly fishing village of Chalok Lum on the north western side of the island. The conservation centre is occupied by very enthusiastic experts who are dedicated to preserving our marine environment.
Novices staying for two to four weeks have the opportunity to come out as competent divers with an appreciation of the outstanding sights of the underwater world. You can immerse yourself in Oyster's conservation diving projects in Thailand, using your qualification to help the survival of the beautiful life forms that you will see.
You will fly in to Bangkok, from where you will take an internal flight to Koh Samui. On arrival at the airport, a bus will take you down to the port where a catamaran will take you to Koh Phangan, where you will be met and taken to the centre
Accommodation and Food
You will stay in comfortable accommodation on site, which is in the heart of the village. This gives an opportunity to interact with incredibly warm local people and share their way of life.
There are many local restaurants all supplying excellent local and international food at very cheap prices.
Cost and what support is provided?
The total cost of the placement is £1096 for PADI qualified divers for two weeks. Extra weeks are £200 per week. If you are not a qualified diver you can take the PADI Open Water course during your stay for an extra £150.
What is Provided?
- Diving tuition and continuous guidance from PADI trained instructors
- PADI Open Water Diving Qualification for those not already qualified (extra cost of £150)
- A practical and theoretical education on the very topical issue of coral conservation, ecology and fish identification
- Full briefing on what to expect from the placements either face to face or by phone, as appropriate.
- Pre-departure advice covering medical and safety features
- Help and advice 24/7 from our UK office
- Visa advice (which will vary depending on length of stay)
- Clean, comfortable accommodation on site
- Transport from the airport to the catamaran to take you to the island, where you will be met by a member of the team
- Donation towards the construction of coral nurseries
- Free access to InterHealth's Travel Health Advice Service
- Free myTsafe secure document storage account - worth £25!
What do I need?
- A full passport valid for the duration of your stay.
- Insurance (covering your placement time and any planned independent travel).
- Flights- these can be organised by Oyster which gives you ATOL protection
- Cost of changing your return flight date if you need to.
- Independent travel costs and return to the airport.
- Money for food- approx £3 per day
- Any additional costs such as trips, snacks, entertainment (allow maybe £25 per week depending on lifestyle).
- No visa is necessary for under 30 days from UK and most western European countries.
- The completion of a medical questionnaire as safety is a priority.
- No compulsory inoculations are necessary although do check with your doctor to make sure polio, typhoid and Hep A&B jabs are up to date.
One more thing...
Once you have your PADI Open Water qualification you are certified to dive around the world!