Want to go whale and dolphin watching in the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Want to volunteer with whales and dolphins? Want to make sure it’s done ethically? Our whale and dolphin conservation program, based on the warm-weathered island of Tenerife, might be the program for you.
Tenerife is only about three to five hours from most major European locations. It’s also one of the top locations for whale and dolphin watching. Between 20 and 28 species can be spotted here. And pilot whales and bottlenose dolphins can be seen on most days, all-year round. If you’re lucky, you could also catch sight of other species, such as Atlantic spotted dolphins, humpback whales, blue whales and killer whales.
Understandably, a popular activity for Tenerife tourists is whale and dolphin watching. But unsustainable tourism practices now threaten these species. Part of your job as a volunteer in Tenerife will be to help educate tourists about the importance of choosing an ethical whale and dolphin watching tour.
But these species are threatened by more than unsustainable tourism practices. As a result, many species of whales and dolphins are listed as endangered, vulnerable or near threatened. But, several are also classified as data deficient, meaning that information about their populations is lacking.
You’ll help to change this. Part of your role will be to spend time on a boat with other international volunteers and observe whales and dolphins in their natural habitat. You’ll take photographs and record their numbers and behaviours. You’ll also spend time on local beaches, where you’ll help to clean them and record environmental factors that might affect the health of marine life.
The information you collect will be used by local organisations to make decisions about setting and enforcing environmental policies. It will also be used by local and international organisations to learn about the long-term effects of threats to whale and dolphin conservation and other marine species.
(Please note that this is not a diving program, although you can go for a recreational dive during your free time.)