Marine conservation seeks to protect and restore the health of our oceans in all of their complexity and is a priority issue for which urgent action must be taken to save our seas. 71% of our planet is covered by oceans and the medley of underwater habitats that comprise the aquatic environment range. From colourful coral reefs to deep kelp forests, our marine ecosystems contain more biodiversity than than any terrestrial ecosystem.
The threats facing our oceans, which include climate change, over-fishing, bottom trawling, the contamination of our oceans with waste and effluents, and the removal of coastal habitats (such as mangroves), have led to a perfect storm of negative impacts on marine life and the human societies that depend on them across the planet. Under climate change scenarios, our oceans are forecast to get warmer and more acidic, which will lead to faster melting of ice caps and rising sea levels.
Our marine-focused volunteer programmes promote the protection of vital ocean habitats and support important research, monitoring and educational activities around the globe. Our programs involve monitoring and researching marine species including sea turtles in Costa Rica and Grenada, great white sharks in South Africa and dolphins in Scotland and Croatia. We have programmes which support the important coral reef ecosystems in Thailand, Mauritius, Australia and the West Indies. We develop and deliver marine community education programmes in the Maldives and South Africa.
Our volunteer and internship programmes equip volunteers with key conservation skills and participants gain important insights and experience for future work in the conservation world. Conservation activities are carried out with volunteers, local people and NGOs to create a community committed to protecting and restoring our oceans.