Frontier was founded in 1989 when, in association with the WWF, we helped set up a protected marine research park on a remote island in Tanzania. Since then, Frontier has grown to be the premier provider of gap year, volunteering, internships and ethical travel. With accredited Frontier qualifications through ASDAN and EDEXCEL, you can combine fun and adventure with the chance to improve your CV.
**** IMPORTANT NOTICE ****
This is a Volunteer Internship. You will not receive any payment.
The Internship is for a minimum of 4 weeks based in Fiji with departures every month.
The successful candidates will also be required to make a financial contribution, in the region of £1715, towards the cost of this experience.
Fiji Marine Conservation & Diving Course Credit Internship
WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?
The aim of Frontier-Fiji Marine Conservation Project is to better understand the marine resources of the island of Beqa, and to provide teaching and training to enable local communities to make informed decisions regarding the management of their coastal ecosystems.
To achieve this mission, we conduct scientific baseline data surveys of reef areas. Once a long-term data set is obtained, patterns of resource use can be identified and work with local communities can begin to build awareness of the value and vulnerability of their marine environment.
The marine research and conservation programme is run in association with the University of the South Pacific. The work aims to provide the local stakeholders, research organisations and government bodies with the information they need to design and implement management plans for the future protection of Beqa island and lagoon marine ecosystem.
To gather the data needed you will be diving to locate and map the extensive coral reefs and study the various communities living on them (if necessary you will learn to dive first). To do this you will deploy a wide range of newly learned research skills and scientific techniques including: underwater visual census of reef and commercial fish such as triggerfish and parrotfish, indicator species (both fish and coral), assessment of algal and coral cover to determine the extent of coral bleaching and damage, and line intercept transects for benthic life and indicator invertebrate species such as nudibranchs. With so much to learn it's worth noting that those joining for only a few weeks will be training most of the time and may not get to do a lot of surveying. You may record observations of the feeding habits and behaviour patterns of a range of marine life. You may even get to study the impact of artisanal fishing on the coral reefs or report the effects of Global Warming on marine communities. The type of fieldwork underway will depend on the time of year and the content of the research program when you join up and how long you are joining for.
Whilst diving, you'll see an extraordinary array of animals from turtles to rays, sea cucumbers to feathery starfish, spiny urchins to octopus and jellyfish. When you motor out each day on the Frontier boat to distant dive sites you may even encounter flying fish, sharks and dolphins. By the end of your project you will be expert at identifying vast numbers of colourful and patterned reef fish as well as being an experienced and competent diver. Although the work is intense and challenging you'll get immense satisfaction from having survived and from having made a valuable contribution to the conservation of this untarnished marine wilderness. You will return home with the new friends you've made and a wealth of fascinating stories and memories.
You'll find your team to be a fun, dynamic mix of ages and experiences, with members who all share a passion about travelling in developing countries and saving endangered life. Your staff will be young, friendly individuals who are highly experienced in their field and many have volunteered on a Frontier project earlier in their career.
Intermediate level of English
Introduction to your Course Supervisor
We will tailor your internship to fulfill university/college requirements for independent study or course credit for your field of study
24/7 supervision and mentoring
Direct liaison between with your mentor and university or college tutor
Your mentor can also provide a College reference at the end of your internship
Help to monitor & conserve coral reefs and observe rare marine wildlife
Work on data from some of the world's best dive sites
Extend your experience of tropical marine and coastal zone conservation field work
There is also the opportunity to gain a qualification in habitat conservation
It is possible to gain Course Credits in the following fields of study:
Coral Reef Conservation
Marine Mammal Conservation
Tropical Forest Conservation
Tropical Wildlife Conservation
Location: The South Pacific Island of Beqa, Fiji
Activities: Scuba diving, Dive and snorkel on beautiful coral reefs
Using under water visual census methods, dive and snorkel to study and conserve the various marine life living on coral reefs; including indicator and commercial fish.
Study and work to conserve a wide range of invertebrate species
Explore mangrove forests, dense sea grass beds & productive intertidal areas
Study species that live on the Island of Beqa
Dive and snorkel to study the health of the coral reef habitats and relate that information to species conservation
Record observations of the feeding habits & behaviour patterns of a range of marine life
Take part in critical habitat mapping
Work with local communities to increase their awareness and appreciation of the marine environment.
Transport: Free airport pickup and transfer to the island is provided for volunteers arriving on the first Monday of each month. For volunteers arriving on different days airport pickup, transfers to the island and hostel accommodation for the first night can be arranged at a small additional cost
Accommodation: Communal cast away style camp a few minutes walk from the bay, with timber frame house
Before you go: Pre-departure support, Travel & medical advice & documentation, Equipment advice, Discounted medical kit, Free Frontier t-shirt, UK residential briefing weekend including food, accommodation and training (extra cost applies)
In-Country: Cast away camp accommodation & food. Local orientation & comprehensive project training, Project equipment & camp diving equipment, Research materials, 24 hour in-country support, International HQ emergency support & back-up, Free airport pick-up and transfer to the island for volunteers arriving on the first Monday of each the month. Optional airport pickup, first night accommodation and transfers to the island can be provided for an extra cost for those arriving on different dates.
Diving projects: Dive training to PADI Dive Master courses available & FREE use of Frontier project dive equipment, including tanks, BCDs, Regs, weights, compressor & all air fills, boats, outboard engines (personal dive kit, including mask, fins, snorkel and wet suit not included). Scuba dive courses available subject to availability, confined water dives may be done in Suva.
PADI Open Water Diver £350
PADI Advanced Open Water £330
PADI Emergency First Response £100
PADI Rescue Diver £300
PADI Dive Master £600
Dive kit available for rent in Suva (please contact Frontier for details)
Night dives, fun dives, shore dives, recreational dives and speciality dives available at extra cost based on volunteer interest and skill