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What Are the Best Internships in Marine Conservation?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that our oceans are under growing threat. Between ocean acidification and rising temperatures, more and more plastic pollution, and ever-increasing overfishing, there is a lot of damage being done to an integral life source on our planet. So, it’s about time more people learn how to help marine conservation.

Fortunately, we offer some of the best marine internships for young ocean conservationists to develop the knowledge and skills they’ll need to help save our planet and its oceans. These include marine biology internships, marine research internships, and internships for NGO marine conservation.

The threats of climate change and pollution on our oceans are diverse and complex, and there are a number of specializations needed to protect and bolster marine life. Consequently, it can be hard knowing how to get involved in marine conservation and where you can best contribute. To get you started, here are the best marine biology internships we have available, and our advice on how to find the best one for you.

a group of small fishes and seagrass under the blue sea


If you’re wondering where to get internships for marine biology, the Bazaruto archipelago is one of the most exciting and important protected marine areas in Africa, if not the world. This internship program places you on Benguerra Island, at the heart of the region, and allows you to gain incredible field experience whilst contributing valuably to the work being done there.

This organization runs the first permanent marine observatory in Africa, where they conduct multi-faceted conservation research. Their aim is to identify and address marine conservation needs on a local and regional level by studying the rich ecosystems of the Archipelago. As an intern, you’ll work as part of their dedicated team of scientists and environmentalists collecting data on research dives and observing whales, dolphins, and manta rays.


You’ll also live and work in the Bazaruto Archipelago with this marine conservation internship. However, your focus here will be on the day-to-day running of a field based NGO, planning and developing research and conservation programs.

This is a fantastic opportunity to learn about the many aspects of managing NGO marine conservation projects. At the same time, you’ll gain marine research experience (both in the lab and on dives) learning about conservation challenges in the Indian Ocean. You’ll collect data on diving expeditions, assist with shark and fish tagging, and also get involved with their awareness drives and community outreach programs.

a group of clownfish and colorful coral reef under the sea


Here’s one of the most exciting marine biology diving internships we offer! It combines the best features of internships for marine biology students and professional diving training programs.

Live and work in an area of unique potential for marine science research, the Coral Triangle, research some of the most biodiverse coral reefs in the world, and work towards your PADI Divemaster qualification. You’ll develop an expansive knowledge of marine life in the Indo-Pacific region, gain practical understanding of marine research tools, and attain experience training and leading divers.

If you’ve ever wondered how to get into marine conservation or professional diving, this is the internship program for you!


This is a more advanced program and one of the best internships for marine biology students looking to make their first steps in a ocean conservation career.

This organization conducts long-term, fine-scale marine research with a special focus on coral reefs. They publish their findings in high-end scientific journals and reports with the aim of involving the scientific community with devising conservation solutions. Meanwhile, they also collaborate with coastal communities to develop locally-led sustainability strategies.

This internship program is awash with marine biology research opportunities. You’ll play a big role for their research team leading research assistants on underwater research dives, then analyzing the data collected in the lab. You’ll also have the chance to devise your own marine projects and get work published.

Stay Tuned for Our New Marine Internships Launching in Costa Rica & South Africa soon!

a diver collecting plastic trash underwater

5 Tips for Finding Marine Conservation Internships

Marine conservation is a rapidly growing field, and there are so many internships for marine biology students, recent graduates, or unqualified enthusiasts. With so many options out there it can be difficult deciding on the best marine internships for you. So, below we’ve compiled a list of our top tips on how to find internships in marine biology and conservation, and how to pick between them.

Decide What Type of Marine Life You Want to Work With

There are a bounty of marine biology research opportunities for different types of fish, sharks, coral, kelp, and all kinds of marine life. So, the first step to narrowing down the best marine biology internships for you, is deciding where your interests lie and where you can best contribute.

Ask yourself questions like: what marine life am I most passionate about? What areas would the skills and experience I have be best suited to? And, what career goals am I working toward with a marine internship? As with any field, deciding what you’re passionate about is the best place to start when deciding how to get involved in marine conservation.

No matter what type of marine life you’re interested in, there’s a marine science internship for you. Each one has its own unique challenges and rewards, so following your interests, strengths, and goals is essential.

Look at Destinations That Match Your Interests

Where to get internships for marine biology is an important factor to consider. There are incredible opportunities all over the globe and each will offer unique benefits and possibilities.

To start, completing the first step on this list will help with your decision. Once you know what your interests are and what goals you’re working toward, it’s simply a question of finding which destination can best cater for them.

It’s also important to consider your budget when choosing a destination for your marine biology internship. With flights, insurance, equipment rentals, and, in some cases, marine sanctuary fees, marine biology internships can be pricey. Some destinations will exacerbate costs, whilst others can make things much more affordable.

photo of coral reef and school of fish, illuminated by striking sunlight

Research the organization

This is valuable advice on a number of levels when looking for the best internships for marine biology. Primarily, it will help with your decision process. Knowing the work an organization does and what marine biology research opportunities they offer interns will help decide which program is the best fit for you.

Secondly, marine biology internships can be competitive. If you turn up to an interview with an idea of what the organization does and where you might fit, it will increase the likelihood of being accepted onto the program.

Finally, it will help you make the most of your marine internship once you’re there. With some prior knowledge of the organization, you can really hit the ground running

Before applying you should definitely look up the organization online, but it’s also worth reaching out to an organization and asking questions (Alternatively, you could book with us and we’ll give you all the info you need!)

Leave yourself plenty of time to prepare

Once you’ve picked your marine internship you’ll have to find flights, insurance, sort visas, and buy necessary equipment. These things take time. So, if you’re looking for marine science internships summer 2024, you need to get moving!

The best marine internships are as challenging as they are rewarding. On top of basic travel preparations (visas, vaccinations, and packing), there are some extra considerations too.

Brushing up on your research skills is a huge help for maximizing your time during a marine internship. This could mean taking an online course, volunteering at local marine aquariums or research stations, or just reading up on specific topics.

If your program includes a lot of diving, getting in shape is a good idea too. SCUBA diving isn’t the most physically demanding activity, but diving each day can really take it out of you and this could take away from your enjoyment of the internship. Working on cardio, lung capacity, strength and mobility can really help with this.

Manage your expectations

Even the best marine biology internship will have its ups and downs, so one of the best ways to prepare for that is mentally. Before embarking on your marine biology internship, you should be ready to work hard, show resilience, and adapt to new challenges and unfamiliar situations.

With any endeavor in life, things won’t always go your way. This is especially true when it comes to NGO marine conservation work. You will be faced with obstacles and hurdles you’ve never encountered before and it will be tough at times. This is not meant to put you off though, because overcoming these difficulties will be one of the most rewarding, confidence-building parts of your internship, you just need to be prepared.

The best advice we can give you is to practice maintaining a positive attitude and being flexible with your expectations. Not only will this help you to make the most of your time, it’s a surefire way to impress your supervisor and secure a glowing reference at the end of your marine internship abroad.

a person holding a baby turtle inside a coconut shell with a background of the ocean

How to Get Involved in Marine Conservation

It’s not easy working out how to get involved in marine conservation, but nothing that’s worth doing is.

NGO marine conservation is one of the most rewarding and worthwhile career paths you can follow. Not only will you enjoy an exciting varied work and see some beautiful parts of our planet, you’ll make a difference in the world helping to protect our oceans and the creatures that live there.

Whilst it’s not an easy field to break into, the good news is a marine biology internship is one of the best ways to do it. We hope you’re feeling better prepared to find the best marine internship for you.

Browse through our best marine biology internships

This blog was written by Tom Rusbridge