A group of sharks pictured by Projects Abroad volunteers whilst diving on their Shark Conservation volunteering project in Fiji.

Shark Conservation Volunteering in Fiji

Dive in the clear blue waters of the South Pacific and play a vital role in shark conservation

Volunteer with sharks in Fiji and also get your own diving certification. This project will see you dive in the beautiful clear blue waters of the Pacific. You’ll help scientists protect one of the most endangered animals on the planet. This project can give you important practical experience if you’re pursuing a career in conservation or marine biology.


In Fiji, you’ll assist leading shark researchers from the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Project AWARE. You’ll learn how to feed, identify, and tag sharks in their natural marine habitat. All these tasks are done in safe manner. The data you collect will help the fight to keep sharks off the list of critically endangered species.


If you’ve always wanted to learn how to dive, this project gives you that opportunity. Part of this amazing experience is getting your own PADI diver certification. Experienced divers will also get the chance to gain specialized conservation and DiveMaster qualifications.


The project is based in Pacific Harbour - the adventure capital of Fiji. You’ll live in shared accommodation with other volunteers.


‘Probably the most important shark conservation project in the world.’ – Ian Campbell, Global Shark Programme Manager, WWF.


Children aged 3-14 must be accompanied by at least one adult paying full price

We offer discounts for families and groups of friends travelling together. Call us on 1 212 244 7234 for more info.

When you apply you only pay $295, which comes off the total price.

Looking to do more than one project? Call us on 1 212 244 7234 to see if we can offer a discount.

Project Overview

Start Dates:

Completely flexible dates

Minimum Duration:

Two Weeks

Placement Location:

Pacific Harbour (Read More)

Accommodation:

Shared accommodation Read More

Requirements :

Anyone aged over 16 can join

What's included in the price?
  • Accommodation

  • Food (three meals a day)

  • Travel and medical insurance

  • Airport pick-up and drop-off

  • Full induction and orientation by an experienced staff member on arrival

  • Transport to and from your work placement

  • In-country support and 24-hour back-up from our team of full-time local staff

  • Emergency assistance from our international emergency response team

  • Project equipment and materials, including access to our database with thousands of resources

  • Training and workshops from our experienced local staff

  • Regular social events and community activities with other volunteers and interns

  • Access to our local office with internet connection

  • Certification of project completion

  • Access to our alumni services and discounts

  • Visa support and advice

  • Fundraising support, including your own personalized fundraising website

  • Pre-departure preparation by your own specialist Volunteer Advisor

  • Personalized MyProjectsAbroad website, with all the information you need about your project, accommodation and destination

  • A free cultural awareness course

  • Membership to our volunteer social media groups, to share information and to get in touch

  • PADI diving course

  • Diving equipment rental

  • A supervisor/mentor at your work placement

  • Support to help you complete registration or internship documents, if applicable

What's not included?
  • Flights

  • Visa costs (where applicable)

Volunteers are pictured planting mangroves as part of their shark conservation volunteering in Fiji with Projects Abroad.

Is Shark Conservation volunteering in Fiji right for me?

This project is perfect for adventurers and thrill-seekers with a passion for nature, marine life, and the outdoors.


If you’re considering a career in conservation, this project will be a great option to take. You’ll work with some of the top minds in marine biology. This opportunity will see you gain practical, hands-on experience in marine conservation. Add this work experience to your resume. The program will also give you a lot to talk about in future applications and interviews.


You’ll receive full training in your first two weeks to get your own personal PADI Open Water certificate. This overseas volunteer experience is thrilling but entirely safe. You’ll always be supervised by expert diving instructors from our highly respected dive partners, Beqa Adventure Divers. Their safety record on shark dives is 100%.


If you’re an experienced diver, you can choose to receive specialised diving qualifications. These include PADI AWARE Shark Conservation Diver and our exclusive PADI Projects Abroad Survey Diver certificate. The second of these includes training in underwater survey and research techniques. Those staying for eight weeks or more can also train as a Dive Master during this project.


Our volunteer opportunities with sharks in Fiji run all year round, so you can join whenever it suits you. You can volunteer for as short as two weeks, but we always recommend staying longer to have an even greater impact.

What will I do as a volunteer working with sharks in Fiji?

There’s a lot of  work to be done to help protect sharks and the environment in Fiji. Here’s what you can get up to:


  • Gain a PADI diving certification (the course is included in the project fee)
  • Collect vital data during shark survey dives
  • Replant mangroves along the beautiful coast
  • Help raise awareness and educate the local community about shark conservation

Your work can include the following:


Get your PADI diving certification


You’ll get your own PADI certification. Because diving is central to the work you’ll do. If you’re a beginner, you can complete the PADI Open Water Dive Course during your first two weeks. As an experienced diver, you can complete the PADI Advanced Course or PADI Rescue Diver Course.


After doing a diver course, you’ll complete the specialized PADI AWARE Shark Conservation Diver course. There will also be training on fish identification, research, and survey techniques as part of the PADI Projects Abroad Survey Diver Distinctive Speciality Course.


Data collection


During the project, you’ll help staff collect data from survey dives, Baited Remote Underwater Videos (BRUVs), and shark tagging. This research is central to the project. We share it with global monitoring platforms like eShark and SharkBase. In 2016, our research was one of the top five most important contributions to these databases.


You’ll collect data by:


  • Diving with bull sharks to collect information on the behaviour of individual sharks
  • Conducting survey dives to record details about different species
  • Assisting with deploying BRUVs, which are used to study sharks without human presence and interference
  • Observing as staff tag juvenile sharks to learn more about their lifespan, nursery habitats, and reproduction


Mangrove reforestation


Another important part of your work will be to care for mangrove seedlings in our mangrove nursery. This will include replanting mangroves along the coast.


Mangrove forests are one of the most important ecosystems in this region. They act as nurseries for many different fish species and help reduce carbon emissions. We’ve partnered with local businesses to work out their carbon emission levels, and strive to plant enough mangroves to neutralise them.


Awareness and sustainability initiatives


Every year, more than 73 million sharks are killed by humans. You’ll help run campaigns, workshops and outreaches, to raise awareness around this problem. Part of this is communicating with the local community that sharks are important for the environment and sustainability. Inspire younger generations to continue to protect sharks in the future.


These are some of the activities you can take part in:


  • Conduct workshops to teach local people about the importance of marine conservation, including sustainable living
  • Run classes with school children on recycling, climate change, and sea creatures
  • Collect plastic bottles from partner restaurants and resorts to repurpose them as pots for our mangrove nursery

Our partners in Fiji

Projects Abroad strives to make a significant contribution to global shark conservation efforts. We also want our volunteers to have an amazing experience with as much support as they need. In Fiji, we work with many great partner organizations to make this possible.


An important part of protecting marine life is diving to collect data. Our partners, PADI and Beqa Adventure Divers, make sure every volunteer can participate in this work.


We’ve also partnered with major conservation organizations like WWF, Project AWARE, SharkBase, and Friends for Sharks. We share our data with them, so the work you do can have an even greater impact on shark protection policies.

Where in Fiji will I work?

Pacific Harbour

On this project, you’ll be based in Pacific Harbour - the ‘adventure capital of Fiji’. This popular tourist area is on the south coast of Viti Levu.


Most of your time will be spent doing research on scuba dives off the coast of Pacific Harbour. These dives are in the renowned Beqa Lagoon and the Shark Reef Marine Reserve. You’ll also help with conservation and awareness efforts in coastal communities.


In your free time, there’s plenty to do, including some adrenaline-filled activities. There’s kayaking, ziplining, and white water rafting. The island also has great hiking trails among breathtaking waterfalls and lush rainforests. If relaxing is preferred, Pacific Harbour has some of the finest white-sand beaches on the island.

AIRPORT PICKUP, FLIGHTS AND VISAS

When you arrive at your respective airport, a member of Projects Abroad staff will be there to meet you. You can find more detailed information on arrival airports, orientation, and visas on our Fiji Arrival Procedures page.

Volunteers from Projects Abroad are seen participating in a beach clean up as part of their shark conservation volunteering work in Fiji.

A typical day on the Shark Conservation Project

A typical work day will run from 7am to 4pm, Sunday to Thursday. All your activities are supervised by trained local professionals, including qualified marine biologists.


After breakfast with your fellow volunteers, you could head out on a boat to deploy two Baited Remote Underwater Videos (BRUVs). You’ll then scuba dive for 90 minutes scuba dive to monitor and collect data on the marine life. These dives will be done with our partners, Beqa Adventure Divers. They’re at the forefront of shark protection in Fiji and have a 100% safety record on shark dives.


Then you’ll watch the BRUV footage you recorded to identify species. On some afternoons you’ll teach people in a nearby village about the importance of sharks. This can include an awareness workshop, teaching school children about recycling, or sitting in a lecture about shark identification.


There will also be opportunity to learn about Fijian life. You’ll learn how to cook local food, make ‘bilo’ - traditional coconut cups, or weave palm fronds.


After dinner with the other volunteers, your evenings are usually free. Use this opportunity to explore Fiji. Go trekking through the highland interior or attend a traditional festival. Or, simply relax by the swimming pool, drink kava and watch the sunset on this island paradise.

What are the goals and impact of this Shark Conservation Project?

The goal of this project is to protect the shark population around Fiji. We started this project in January 2014 in response to the declining shark population in the area. The Fijian government has identified shark protection as a top conservation priority. Although some measures have been put in place, like marine protected areas, the shark population continues to decrease.


“Sharks are more vulnerable today than ever before.” – Boris Worm, Professor of Biology, Dalhousie University, Canada


Sharks are the top predators in the marine food chain, and therefore play a vital role in the ecosystem. If sharks were to go extinct, there would be devastating consequences for many other forms of life, including humans. Without sharks, a destructive chain of events would lead to an increase in algae, which would choke coral reefs and eventually kill them.


If coral reefs die, thousands of species will lose their habitat. This would take away a major income source for local fishermen and a primary food source for Fijian locals.


To make sure we work towards long-term goals, we’ve created a Conservation Management Plan for Fiji. Some of our objectives in this plan are to:


  • Collect data on marine life to inform conservation policies
  • Plant mangroves to create the first carbon-neutral resort in Fiji
  • Raise awareness about shark conservation
  • Promote sustainable living in local communities


Join a Shark Conservation Project in Fiji and help us achieve these goals.

Management Plans

We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.


Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.

Measuring Our Impact

Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.


Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.

FOOD AND ACCOMMODATION

You'll share accommodation with other Projects Abroad volunteers and interns during your stay in Pacific Harbour. This is a great way to get to know your fellow volunteers and interns, share experiences, and explore your surroundings in your free time together.


The accommodation is safe, clean, and comfortable. Your programme fees include three meals a day.


Find out more about our accommodation.

LEISURE ACTIVITIES AND FREE TIME

Experience the beauty of the South Pacific while volunteering with us in Fiji. This tropical island country has plenty of activities and must-see sights for you to enjoy in your free time.

We can’t talk about Fiji without mentioning the beaches. With their soft, white sand and clear, blue seas, they are the ideal place to relax and wind down after a day of volunteer work. With the beaches come a bunch of other exciting activities, like water sports and snorkelling.

For a culture-rich experience, you can explore the bright, rainbow-coloured Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple. You can also spend time wandering through art galleries or browsing through stunning handmade pottery in Nadi.

The Kula Eco Park gives you the opportunity to see local plants and animals. For thrill seekers, they also have a zipline going through the park!

You can explore all these different sights on your own or with a group. With so many volunteers joining us in Fiji each year, you’re bound to make some new friends to travel with. 

SAFETY AND STAFF SUPPORT

Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on-hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.


Find out more about safety and backup.

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