We welcome scuba divers to assist with our marine conservation coastal research projects as citizen scientists. Eco Dive research volunteering provides an ideal opportunity for marine biology, gap-year students or any diver keen to take part in marine species surveys to enjoy free Mediterranean scuba diving whilst learning about the coastal ecology and biodiversity of the Costa Brava.
We have been carrying out research into the keystone seagrass Posidonia oceanica since 1999, and in 2009 became voluntary coordinators for the Silmar Project. Key species are monitored at our two research stations, one of which is within the Medes, Montgri i Baix Ter Natural Park, and impacts upon the marine environment noted. We present reports to the local authorities at the end of each season.
Marine biodiversity is high along the Montgri coast of the Costa Brava, due to the rocky coastline and the presence of Posidonia oceanica seagrass beds - an essential feeding and breeding habitat for hundreds of species, including seahorses and pipefish. Despite it´s status as a "Priority Habitat" Posidonia oceanica is being eroded at an alarming rate.
In 2014 we began a Seahorse Project which has included a full population survey to assess the current numbers, and the pressures upon seahorses and pipefish, in a bay where seasonal anchoring is eroding the seagrass meadows.
We have found 28 seahorse individuals to date and observed mating and bonding behaviours. The males have had four pregnancies, which we have monitored closely. We share this data with The Seahorse Trust and iSeahorse. Experienced scuba divers, marine biology students/graduates, and underwater photograhers who volunteer for several weeks will be able to also participate in our ongoing Seahorse Project.
Marine biology students gain valuable fieldwork experience by taking part in marine conservation surveys with our Eco Dive volunteering projects. Marine research coursework assignments can be undertaken whilst staying in volunteer accommodation and with our logistical support. But you don’t need to be a marine biologist to become an Eco Dive Research Volunteer!
PADI Open Water (or equivalent) is required to take part in underwater research as a volunteer. You can study the theory online and take the practical course in the Mediterranean Sea.
*Free to new volunteers staying for at least three weeks.
**From under 30.00 GBP per night inc. Girona airport and daily transfers, self-catering facilities, sun terrace and WiFi.
***New volunteers research diving for three weeks or more.
Marine Life Costa Brava is an ongoing project, building a catalogue of the sea life that we see whilst fun diving and carrying out marine conservation research. Visit this site to see photos and information on the key species that we are monitoring for the Silmar Project and the amazing marine biodiversity of the Costa Brava.