People and the Sea

Working at the heart of the local community, and living in a local household, you will experience the warmth of the Filipinos first-hand. Registered as both a French and a Filipino charity, the approach of People and the Sea is to provide support to the local communities, to help them realise the wealth and diversity of their marine environment, and to develop initiatives that will see it sustainably managed into the future.

We run expeditions on the beautiful island of Malapascua in the Philippines. The focus of these expeditions is two-fold; the training for and conduct of underwater marine habitat surveys and the setting up and maintenance of a host of community engagement initiatives.

In both areas, the contribution made by our volunteers is what makes the whole project come to life. The energy, ideas, enthusiasm, skills and experience that volunteers bring with them is what drive the success of our programmes. We run small expeditions – we have a maximum of eight volunteers at any one time. With so much to achieve together, we all work hard to foster an environment in which everyone can learn, contribute, have fun, and most importantly, feel fulfilled.

Our volunteer programmes last from 3 weeks up to as long as you want! Full training in marine science and survey/research techniques is provided onsite by our Lead Science Officer.

If you are not already a diver, all the SCUBA training you need in included in our expedition fees (up to two globally recognised licenses). If you are already a diver, and looking to progress, we offer longer-term internships where you can earn a professional diving qualification while further developing your interest in marine conservation – whether it’s for personal interest, or with career prospects in mind.

We feel it’s important to explain that we understand marine conservation as more than just about diving – it’s about engaging the local community to take a role in protecting it also. To this end, we have established a variety of initiatives to support local stakeholders. There is plenty of work to be done here – you can expect that they will form an important part of your expedition with us. Indeed, we do accept non-diving volunteers also, who would spend their time exclusively focused on these ‘land-based’ activities. Examples of what you may be involved include:

  • Environmental Science Classes: A programme of classes delivered as part of the Filipino academic curriculum.
  • Alternative Livelihoods: Developing other sources of income for local fishing families
  • Solid Waste Management: Several components – education, composting, beach clean-ups, recycling and more!

To find out more – or write to us


“The team is fantastic, and whether it comes to the diving, or to the science or to the local community projects, everyone knows exactly what they are doing so you always have the help/support you need when it comes to the activities.” – Antti, Finland, July 2017

“Safety and Professionalism: In one word; Outstanding! I don’t think I’ve ever been at a place where standards and procedures are so high end, and I think it’s perfect! It gives people (at least me) a sense of security and makes me more relaxed, knowing that everything is taken care of.” – Martijn, Netherlands, October 2016

“People and the Sea and the team won’t let you feel like a stranger. From the first day of an expedition you have opportunity to learn, taste, explore and contribute your energy to various on-land and marine projects. My experience couldn’t have been more enriching and fulfilling.” – Gosia, Poland, April 2016


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