Published: June 14, 2022

Location: Umkomaas, South Africa


Closing Date: Ongoing

SharkWise Marine Internship

Programme overview

The SharkWise Marine Internship is based in Umkomaas, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa and is aimed at young students wanting hands-on experience in marine biology, focusing on shark research.


The SharkWise ProjectThe SharkWise Project interns


About the organisation

The SharkWise Project was founded by Dr Sara Andreotti and Walter Bernardis. Dr Sara Andreotti is a marine biologist specialising in shark research. She is a lecturer extraordinaire at Stellenbosch University Department of Botany and Zoology and co-founder of The SharkWise Project. She has been developing a management and conservation plan for great white sharks since 2009. Dr Andreotti is an established marine biologist specialising in shark population dynamics, ethology and conservation genetics, Extraordinary Lecturer at Stellenbosch University and Founding Director of SharkSafe Barrier Pty Ltd. Mr Bernardis is a world-renowned shark behaviour expert who has been diving with large sharks for over four decades: he pioneered shark eco-tourism in South Africa, and he is the Founding Director of local dive centre African Watersports.


About the programme

The interns work with Masters and/or PhD students that are registered at Stellenbosch University. The interns assist with data collection for the postgraduate research. Current postgraduate research includes:

  • Genetic sampling
  • Shark fin photo identification
  • Underwater photogrammetry
  • Reef biodiversity assessment

Interns also analyse data using various software, undertake photo and video equipment care, enjoy fun dives and have the opportunity to meet local and international people with similar interests



The Aliwal Shoal Marine Protected Area (MPA) is one of the top dive sites in South Africa. It is also world-renowned for the amazing marine life that is found within it. The MPA was established in 1991 and stretches 18.3km along the coast, and 7km out to sea, protecting 126 squared km of the ocean. The objective of this protected area is to conserve the species that are found within it, keeping the marine ecosystem as natural and pristine as possible. We are honoured to be able to conduct our research in the Aliwal Shoal MPA , educating young people and producing research that contributes to the protection of the sharks found on this part of the South African coastline.



The internship has a duration of 2-3 months.


Costs and pre-requisites

Interns are expected to have a passion for the natural world and have a hands on attitude towards academic research. Current or prior studies in the natural sciences are preferred.

The internship costs R30 000 (ca EUR 1,700).


What’s included

The program includes:

  • 12 dives per month in the Aliwal Shoal MPA
  • Diving training
  • Equipment care
  • Marine biology fieldwork training
  • Lectures provided by Dr Sara Andreotti
  • Seafront accommodation


How to apply

Please forward your CV and a motivation letter if you would like to join us and do not hesitate to ask should you have any questions!