Marine Conservation Adventure
The program takes place on an island
off the coast of Cambodia.
The warm and pale blue waters of coastal Cambodia harbor a rich and diverse marine habitat. This extraordinary biodiversity sustains
the coastal fishing communities and provides
the basis for a future tourism industry.
It was not always like this. The project was founded by a small group of diving enthusiasts who witnessed the rapid destruction of the area due to the use of illegal weighted net, bottom trawling and other non-sustainable fishing practices.
You will stay on a tropical island that has never seen tourists, in a house or bungalow right beside, or in some cases above, the water. You will work with the local community assisting in the implementation of traditional and non-destructive fishing techniques and help them develop alternative and sustainable sources of income.
There is work to be done in the local village to assist in education classes, small building programs for less able villagers, installing garbage collection and waste disposal facilities to protect the marine environment.
The community has embraced the program. They are seeing the benefits in more and larger fish in their nets and the local community ensures that rogue vessels do not enter the area and damage the rehabilitated marine environment.
The slogan More Fish = Less Poverty is a wonderfully succinct statement of what the marine program is about.
If you love SCUBA diving or you want to learn to SCUBA dive this is one of the best environments in the world. Your instructors are highly qualified Canadian dive instructors who are with you at all times. Your role is to help to map the coral reefs, monitor the health of the marine environment and the fish breeding programs, and assist in species identification.
If SCUBA diving is not for you there is still much to do on the island working with the village community in developing the local infrastructure. This could be in waste management solutions or as simple as building a new soccer field at the primary school. You will also be expected to assist the English language program at the local school.
Training for Scuba diving.
Don’t know how to SCUBA dive? You have two options. You can simply work on the community development side of the program or you can snorkel instead of scuba diving.
The cost of your SCUBA training and licensing is included in the program fee. You will be trained for the Open Water certificate. Everything is covered in your fee including books, equipment rental, boat, PADI* instructor fees and certification card. The Open Water certification is the first level PADI certification and allows divers to dive to depths not exceeding 18 meters or 60 feet and teaches new divers about safety and the effects of pressure on the body.
The second level of certification is the Advanced Open Water certification. Once again your fee includes all costs as above. The Advanced Open Water certification is the second level PADI* certification allowing divers to dive to depths not exceeding 40 meters or 120 feet. The focus in the Advanced Open Water course here is buoyancy control, control in a current, photography, the underwater environment (marine life) and depth.
Ideally a volunteer would sign up for both courses over a four-week program, as the work we do requires a certain level of skill in the water. Good buoyancy and a knowledge of the marine environment in Cambodian waters is key to the surveys, reef cleanups and species identification we partake in on a daily basis. More comfort in the water means a greater ability to help in our cause.
*PADI is the Professional Association of Dive Instructors. It is the worldʼs largest dive training center and the only certification recognized everywhere there is diving. They have, over the last 9 years, been certifying nearly 1,000,000 new divers annually and leave all other dive organizations far behind in this area. PADI is The Way the World Learns to Dive. People often go into shops and actually ask for their “PADI” not their “diver certification”. Just check out their website if youʼre curious about anything more or write back with any questions you may have.
Want to be a part of it?
The cost of the program includes all food and accommodation costs, transport on the ground, and group activities, all SCUBA and snorkeling costs including the license testing for one PADI certification. If we are involved in infrastructure projects we will provide all tools, materials and local tradespeople to assist with the work. You provide the labor, the energy, the enthusiasm and the skills that keep these worthwhile activities going.
As mentioned previously, if you already hold a valid Advanced Open Water PADI certification, we reduce the price by refunding you $250 or £155 per program.