Get ready to kickstart an exciting new career in professional diving and tropical marine conservation. Take a trip to the second-largest reef system in the world, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. You’ll be working to research and preserve one of its most valuable sections, the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Belize is a leader in conservation policies and has banned certain harmful commercial fishing practices and even oil drilling off the coast. The result is that the clear, warm Caribbean waters flourish with parrotfish, eagle rays, sea turtles and a vibrant array of corals including the eye-catching elkhorn coral. Manatees and whale sharks also frequent these waters.
Unsurprisingly, ecotourism is an important part of the country’s economy. However, the authorities are also aware that they need to manage it effectively so that it doesn’t negatively impact the environment. You’ll learn all about how this is done and it’s challenges on this internship.
You’ll also learn how authorities manage other threats, such as the coral bleaching resulting from climate change, invasive species such as the lionfish and the pollution caused by nearby farms.
Your internship will get started before you even set foot in Belize. While you’re still at home, you’ll be sent our pre-program training. Be sure to complete this training before you arrive, otherwise you’ll be spending your first few weeks in Belize in front of a computer screen or with your nose in a book. We’d much rather get you started on the hands-on, practical training as soon as you land on base. That way you’ll soon be on the reef and carrying out surveys.
Keep in mind that we aim to dive as much as humanly possible, weather conditions change rapidly in the Caribbean, which means that sometimes dives can get cancelled at the last minute. You’ll soon learn, however, that many of the projects that make the biggest impact on marine conservation goals take place on land, and you’ll be supporting these initiatives when not on a dive.
- Earn PADI professional diving certifications.
- Gain real-world experience carrying out underwater marine conservation surveys of Caribbean coral reef habitats.
- Assist with the research and protection of the second-largest coral reef in the world.
- Find out how local and international organisations are working together to protect coral reefs from numerous environmental threats.
- In your free time, go for a recreational dive and experience the unique formation of Belize’s Great Blue Hole for yourself.
To find out more about this programme please visit their Expedition page!