The Blue Lagoon and Coral Reef Monitoring programme focuses on the protection, preservation and restoration of the marine and coastal environment in the Blue Bay and Pointe d’Esny regions of Mauritius. The island is an important place for ocean conservation. Alongside a Mauritian NGO, volunteers and interns work to protect natural resources from threats of pollution and destruction. These often come as a consequence of inconsiderate development and lack of awareness on the island.
Coral reefs in Mauritius have been negatively affected due to the spread of poor conditions and large-scale human activity within the lagoon. After the bleaching events of 1998, 2011 and 2014-2015, an estimated 50-60% of live coral cover was reported to have been lost. The coral farming project undertaken in collaboration with the Mauritius Oceanographic Institute (MOI) and the Albion Fisheries Research Council (AFRC) aims to rejuvenate coral populations through addition to, and accumulation of local species in the Grand Port lagoon area. It is a cause which continues to gain necessary public awareness.
The farming project entails using nursery-grown (thermally and bleaching-resilient) corals to restore damaged areas of local species. 1000 healthy coral fragments will be placed within mobile, multi-layered structures and will be supervised and cared for by members of staff. Regular cleaning and monitoring shall also be organised by divers of the MOI, AFRC and the project staff.
Your primary duties are planning and managing day-to-day activities which include:
- The placement of coral nursery.
- Maintaining the nursery by cleaning.
- Doing repairs where needed.
- Progress report write-ups.
- Collection of data (water parameters, size of coral fragments, and so on).
- Transplantation phases.
We are still in the early phases of the project. This means the main activities are; collecting of the required data, analysis of this data, planning for the maintenance activities per week and monitoring of the coral nursery site.
As a Coral Farming Intern, you should be a good snorkeller and team leader. You should also have knowledge of statistical analysis and a good scientific understanding of the marine ecosystem – specifically the coral reef ecosystem.
You will also have the opportunity to be involved in the other important activities that all volunteers are involved within the Blue Lagoon. You can also look forward to getting hands-on with beach cleaning, coral farming, mangrove planting, sea turtle monitoring and local community projects!
Mauritius is, with La Réunion and Rodrigues, an island in the Mascarene Archipelago, located in the Indian Ocean at approximately 2000 km off the coast of Africa and 900 km from Madagascar. Set on a breathtaking lagoon, the volunteer project is situated in Pointe d’Esny, on the South East coast of Mauritius. Mahébourg is a colourful and lively town, steeped in Mauritian history.
For this volunteer project in Mauritius, lodging is primarily situated around the area of Pointe D’Esny. The nearest town, Mahebourg, is 20 minutes away by public transport. A welcome tour will be given by one of our staff upon arrival in order to provide you with general knowledge of the area.
This is a part of an NGO and non-profit organisation. For that reason, interns do not receive a monthly salary or allowance. Interns have to provide (but can be assisted in finding) their own accommodation and transport and will have to pay their own food and living costs.
You should bring your own beach towel. Internet is available for volunteers to use at the office (on the top floor) and you can use the office PC after work hours. We would advise you to bring your own phone, while a sim card can be obtained at a cost. There are local restaurants and eateries very close by and you can locally purchase food to cook your meals. Did you know, seafood is a staple of Mauritian cuisine, which has Asian, Indian, French and British influences?
Internship Positions General Required skills/qualifications
Must be familiar with Microsoft Excel and Word.
Must have strong swimming skills.
Must be able to work both independently and in a team.
Must get a student visa (we can provide information on how to do this. If you are currently a student and you can stay up to 5 months, and if not, a tourist visa lasts for up to 3 months max).
Internships last between 2 and 5 months, with volunteers able to join at any time throughout the year.