Blue Ventures

Blue Ventures

The latest from Blue Ventures in our response to COVID-19 

Around the world, individuals, families and communities are rallying to face the COVID-19 pandemic. From Belize to Madagascar to Timor-Leste, Blue Ventures’ own mission and operations are being shaken by this unprecedented disruption.
Our priority during this challenging period has been taking all necessary steps to protect the safety and well-being of our expedition volunteers, staff, and the host communities we strive to support.
We have been closely following advice from the World Health Organization (WHO), Public Health England (PHE), the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) and The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and have made the difficult decision to cancel all our marine conservation expeditions until it is safe to consider returning international volunteers to our host communities.
We are doing all we can to mitigate the impact this has had on our operations and are committed to returning stronger when the time is right. We appreciate your understanding and support during this time. Read on for more information or you can register your interest for future expeditions with Blue Ventures here.

What does this mean for the future of Blue Ventures’ expeditions programme?

As a UK-based charity and international tour operator, Blue Ventures is unable to take further expedition bookings until the UK Government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) guidance against overseas travel for UK citizens is removed. Recommencement of business will then take place subject to country-specific travel and public health guidance, as well as adequate logistical and insurance cover for our operations to proceed safely.
These are unprecedented times for conservation volunteering and there will undoubtedly be further challenges ahead. We are monitoring the situation continuously and will update available information regularly. We remain committed to weathering this storm and using this time to strengthen our wider programmes and adapting our conservation ecotourism model to ensure its future success when the time is right.

When are the expeditions likely to be back up and running?

We are not currently able to offer an accurate timeline on when this might be but this is now unlikely to be in 2020.
Our expeditions will now enter a period of reflection and strategic planning but we will endeavour to keep everyone updated with our progress across our social media channels and on our website here.
You can still register your interest for future expeditions and we’ll email updates as and when we have them. Your support will be integral to rebuilding our conservation volunteering programme when the time is right.

What effect will this have on Blue Ventures conservation work and the coastal communities we support?

Despite the immense scale of the challenge, the BV family has navigated turbulent times before, from devastating cyclones and infectious outbreaks to prolonged political unrest and conflict. For nearly two decades we’ve worked to increase the resilience of vulnerable coastal communities, many of whom live in precarious conditions lacking access to basic services and reliant on fishing for survival. We have learnt that by listening to communities and offering our expertise to co-design practical locally led solutions, we can help them to overcome these challenges.
With field teams living and working alongside under-served communities throughout the coastal tropics, we’re fortunate to be in a frontline position to respond to this new challenge and find ways to support these communities. We’re humbled that our staff and partners in hundreds of communities across 14 countries are mobilising to use their expertise to meet and overcome the current crisis.
We will all have our way of life profoundly changed by this pandemic. For those who live on the frontline of other crises −  climate breakdown and the depletion of fisheries upon which their livelihoods depend − this global pandemic is yet another shock. It reminds us all why we must take action to cooperate at local and global scales to tackle the issues that make marginalised coastal communities amongst the most vulnerable on the planet.

We rebuild tropical fisheries with coastal communities

Since 2003 Blue Ventures have been working with volunteers to develop locally-led marine conservation initiatives in places where the ocean is vital to local cultures and economies.

Our work plays a critical role in rebuilding coastal fisheries, empowering communities with the means to safeguard their futures, reversing biodiversity loss, improving food security and building resilience to climate change.

Our sites in Belize, Madagascar and Timor-Leste are incredibly unique but share similar characteristics in they are on the frontline of climate change and declining fish stocks, rely on the ocean for protecting their livelihoods, located in remote underdeveloped areas, and home to an incredible biodiversity of tropical marine species.

Sunset divers  Heading off to a dive  Sea turtle

A conservation ecotourism model that works

By joining an expedition as a volunteer marine conservationist, you’ll help in collecting key reef monitoring data, supporting alternative livelihoods and gain a deep insight into how Blue Ventures’ community conservation projects operate. You’ll also be contributing to our impact as we share learning from our locally-led marine conservation models and join us as ambassadors of this approach, helping raise awareness of the urgent need for tropical marine conservation, and a community-first approach.

Volunteers are vital to the success of Blue Ventures’ marine-based projects and we are committed to delivering high quality and rewarding expeditions that benefit volunteers, host communities and the fragile marine environments where we work.

Programme highlights

We aim to provide an unforgettable experience that gives you the opportunity to have a real impact whilst giving you the skills to become an effective marine conservationist and ocean ambassador. Highlights include:

  • Marine conservation science training from a team of experienced field scientists.
  • Underwater research dives in incredible biodiversity hotspots.
  • Connecting with coastal communities and embracing a new culture
  • Explore unique landscapes in remote and unexplored areas of natural beauty
  • Weekend fun dives, community activities, hiking and much more

   

APPLY TODAY

Who can volunteer?

Anyone with a passion for marine conservation can get involved and we accept new and experienced divers. The research will involve a lot of diving in biodiverse coral reefs (twice a day, six days per week) and we can train any volunteer up to the required dive standard if you don’t have your certifications yet.

Our team of experienced international and local field scientists will take you through each step and teach you the skills needed to undertake successful underwater research whilst having an incredible experience.

Whether you’re new to diving, an experienced scuba diver, budding scientist or newcomer to the field of marine conservation you are welcome and able to contribute to Blue Ventures’ important marine research and conservation initiatives.

   

How much does it cost?

We are a non-profit marine conservation charity and our main goals are to rebuild tropical fisheries and support affected coastal communities. Each volunteer pays an expedition fee that covers the costs of their expedition with the majority of this fee going back into the local economy. Costs are kept as low as possible whilst ensuring a fairness to the communities and a high-quality experience.

The expedition fee covers:

  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Science/dive training
  • All diving and most of your dive gear
  • Activities and excursions
  • Overland tour

MADAGASCAR – 8-week marine conservation expedition:

New diver: £3750 (Approximately £465 per week)

Open Water certified: £3575

Advanced open water certified: £3425

4 and 12-week options also available – please contact if interested.


BELIZE
– 5-week marine conservation expedition:

New diver: £3095

Open Water certified: £2925

Advanced open water certified: £2795

10 day lionfish expedition:

Advanced open water certified: £995

Open Water certified: £1145


TIMOR-LESTE – 6-week marine conservation expedition:

New diver: Open water is the minimum requirement to join in this role

Open Water certified: £3150

Advanced open water certified: £2950

2-week whale watching and conservation diving expedition:

Advanced open water certified: £1695

 

How to apply

Blue Ventures keep groups small to focus on collecting accurate data and ensure a fantastic experience. To apply, simply submit a short application here and we will get back to you ASAP with the next steps.

If you have any questions you can email info@blueventures.org.

   

 

Return to Marine Research Expeditions

Please don’t forget to mention WiseOceans when booking your expedition!