Shark and Marine Research Institute and Volunteer Programme

We have an exciting opportunity available for students or post-graduates who are looking to gain some hands on experience in the field of marine biology (and particularly elasmobranch research) by volunteering with our organisation in Gansbaai, South Africa – the great white shark capital of the world.

Kindly take a few minutes to read the below information regarding our educational volunteer research programme.

Volunteering with us is an opportunity for early-career scientists to be involved in groundbreaking marine research. Volunteers assist us with data collection and will gain valuable skills on board our vessels and in the field. Volunteer duties and responsibilities will involve the following:

  • Learn about the Great White Shark and other shark species and, in turn, educate clients onboard our cage diving vessel about these incredible creatures, with the aim of shifting negative perceptions and enlightening the public about their beauty and the critical role they play in maintaining the health of our oceans.
  • Collect data aboard our cage diving vessel and research vessel pertaining to Great White Sharks, which contributes towards our white shark dorsal fin identification study and growth rate study, and is analyzed to enhance our understanding of the populations of these enigmatic creatures.
  • Join catch and release surveys on our research vessel and learn how to ethically catch, tag, measure, sample and release the smaller sharks along our coastline, many of which are data deficient. (Please note: we do not tag Great Whites at this stage.)
  • Learn how to deploy baited remote underwater video systems (BRUVs) and how to analyze the videos collected
  • Participate in beach cleanups and community education initiatives.

During the 2016 National Workshop on the Implementation of a Shark Biodiversity Management Plan in South Africa, it was underlined that fundamental baseline data are critically required to develop effective management and conservation initiatives for sharks. We work with in conjunction with the University of Stellenbosch, the Oceanographic Research Institute and the Department of Environmental Affairs in South Africa. Our various research projects aim to close some of these gaps in the data to help with the development of effective management plans, especially for our great white sharks, which unfortunately could be heading towards extinction.

We are currently recruiting volunteers for 2019 & 2020!

Positions are available for a period of one to three months; longer stays are subject to additional visa requirements.

To learn more please click on the link below:

https://www.sharkcagedive.com/research/volunteer-overview/

Alternatively, please email volunteer@sharkcagedive.com or info@sharkcagedive.com.