Great White Shark Research Internship Information

The Shark Research Units – Great White Shark Research Internship, allows people from all walks of life with different skill sets to contribute to shark research and conservation in Mossel Bay, South Africa.

Our great white shark research internship offers a diverse itinerary to suit the expectations of a broad cross section of participants. Our Great White Shark internship offers a hands on approach to working not only with Great White Sharks, but also other species in the area. We offer you a chance to come and   with a loyal and dedicated team behind you!

The ultimate goals of the Great White Shark Internship are education, public awareness, the advancement of shark science and the conservation of all shark species. We want you to bring your skills and your passion to help conserve these incredible animals!

Overview

The Shark Research Units – Great White Shark Research Internship, allows people from all walks of life with different skill sets to contribute to shark research and conservation in Mossel Bay, South Africa.

Our great white shark research internship offers a diverse itinerary to suit the expectations of a broad cross section of participants. Our Great White Shark internship offers a hands on approach to working not only with Great White Sharks, but also other species in the area. We offer you a chance to come and   with a loyal and dedicated team behind you!

The ultimate goals of the Great White Shark Internship are education, public awareness, the advancement of shark science and the conservation of all shark species. We want you to bring your skills and your passion to help conserve these incredible animals!

Program Details

PROGRAM TYPE – Great white shark research internship

PROGRAM LOCATION – Mossel Bay, South Africa

PROGRAM FOCUS – Shark Research, Shark Conservation, Shark Education

Program Highlights
  • 8 Dedicated great white shark research expeditions at Mossel Bay, South Africa. Including cage diving, photographic research, underwater video research, and behavioural ethogram studies.

 

  • 3 day expedition to Plettenberg Bay’s Robberg Reserve for bird-eye scientific survey of great white sharks patrolling and hunting at the seal colony

 

  • 6 Research and Conservation SCUBA (or free diving) expeditions to conduct studies on Ragged tooth sharks and small shy sharks

 

  • 2 Days volunteering at SAPREC bird rehabilitation center aiding in the rehabilitation of entangled and oiled seabirds.

 

  • 2 Day expert introduction to free diving course, accompanied by practical sessions in free diving.
Duration and Price of Program

The program consists of both on-site and off-site work. Prior to arrival in South Africa, participants are required to complete a two week online eLearning program aimed at giving your a thoretical grounding in the shark and research skills required to enable you to make a meaningful contribution to the program. Onsite, participants will focus on practical work and can participate for a minimum period of two weeks and a maximum period of three months.

Cost of Program for you
Eligibility

The great white shark research internship program is open to everyone with the time available and desire to contribute to our great white shark research, conservation and education efforts. If participants want to join the team on research SCUBA dives, then a open-water SCUBA certification is required. This can be gained either before or during your participation on the internship.

Enroll in SCUBA Certification course 

Skills Development

Attending the Great White Shark Research Internship Program is an investment in your career. No matter your current expertise, you will be working toward improving your employability by mastering new social skills, gaining further technical expertise, and potentially earning an additional qualifications. We have helped many of our Alumni discover, move toward, and earn their own personal dream jobs, be in in shark research, ecotourism, underwater filmmaking or conservation. Our program includes introductory workshops, ongoing eLearning presentations, as well as on-the-ground support provided by our very own trained scientists. 

Photographic Identification

Master the photographic skills required to produce mark recapture data on a variety of shark species. This includes establishing the camera settings to ensure clean, sharp and valuable identification photographs

Visual Tags

Train in the skills to safely and ethically place visual ‘mark recapture’ tags on ragged tooth sharks and small endemic shy sharks.

Biopsy Sampling

Train in the collection and storage of biological shark samples that will be used in a variety of research projects from genetic analysis to colour manipulation experiments.

Behavioural Ethograms

Develop and employ behaviour ethograms to understand the behaviour and social interaction of shark species. Including great white sharks, ragged tooth sharks and others.

Baited Remove Underwater Video

Deploy, maintain and analyze footage collected from BRUV’s used in our ongoing research projects.

Crewing

Train in crewing on shark ecotourism vessels and handling and attracting great white sharks to vessels.

Education officer

Develop skills to be an effective education communicator who can inform and entertain tourism guests during shark ecotourism expeditions.

Free Diving (Apnea)

Train in the art of free diving to learn to collect data and samples on breath hold. A vital scientific skill for marine scientists.

Seabird Rehabilitation 

Train in providing care and husbandry of oiled and entangled seabirds at the SANPREC seabird rescue center.

 

ALUMNI REVIEWS

Rating of  Average of 9.67 on a total of 6 Ratings
Jishnu Talukdar
November 2019

Program orientation / pre arrival: Very Satisfied
Research programs: Very Satisfied
Education programs: Neutral
Conservation programs: Very Satisfied
Ecotourism programs: Very Satisfied
Training workshops:(...)

Derrick Wiid
August 2019

If I can explain it in a short sentence. It has been breathtaking. The the crew, management and teacher has made me feel right at home and has gone out of their way to give me the experience of a life(...)

Amica Limosani
September 2019

The Blue Wilderness research program exceeded all my expectations. The entire staff was very welcoming and ready to help me. The volunteer accommodations were amazing and Mama Bo and Marry made it feel like(...)

Maria Hayden-Jones
May 2018

I heard about the Blue Wilderness Research Unit through my advisor who knows the founder of the institute and we have sent other students there. I had spent three years dedicated to learning all I could about(...)

Fiona Everest
August 2017

I was a volunteer with Blue Wilderness in August of 2017 and can honestly say it was the best month of my entire life. Having the opportunity to see Blacktip sharks in the wild, along with Dusky and ragged tooth(...)

John Ross
June 2016

I made an irrational decision to head to South Africa in 2016 to work with the Blue Wilderness Research Unit for two months. I truly had no idea what I was getting into I just knew that I wanted to work with big(...)

Key Publications

The Shark Research Unit is dedicated to producing tangible scientific result. Be assured that your contribution to our research will benefit the understanding of South Africa’s shark populations.

Expedition numbers presented are based on a 4-week participation period on the great white shark research internship program. The real expedition numbers will be proportional to how long you participate on the program. 

Includes
  • 2 Week online training course
  • Onsite expert training
  • 8 x Mossel Bay great white shark research trips
  • 3Day x Plettenberg Bay white shark expedition (land observations)
  • 6 x SCUBA  / Free diving shark research trips
  • 2 x Seabird rehabilitation conservation trips
  • 2 x Learner awareness trips
  • Introduction to Freediving course
  • Accommodation (dorm)
  • Meals (3/day)
  • Internet
  • Local transport (incl. airport shuttle)
Excludes
  • International Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Laundry
  • Weekend experiences
  • Additional drinks and food
  • Souvenirs
  • Single Accommodation (optional addon)
  • Specialized meal plan (optional addon)

Since our inception, the Shark Research Unit has prioritised the health and safety of our staff, participants, partners and local community members. In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, SRU has created the SRU health and hygiene team to put in place new standards of cleanliness, norms and behaviours that meet international recommendations to ensure the ongoing safety of  participants, staff and the local community. Internationally recommended practices, such as advice from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the governments Australia, UK and US, continue to be monitored and the standards are likely to change if and when international advice changes.

Frequently Asked Questions
Visa's - Do I need one?

No. You will not be employed by the Shark Research Unit nor paid. On this internship you are entitled to enter on a temporary visitors permit (e.g. tourism permit). Tourist visiting visas are usually issued for three months/90 days upon entry in South Africa. However, we do recommend that you contact the South African Embassy or Consulate in your country and confirm this fact.  If you plan to travel in South Africa prior or after the course for a period extending 90 days, you will have to apply for a Volunteer VISA application through your home embassy.

Quickly evaluate the visa status of your country when visiting South Africa here 

Medication - Can I get my meds?

South Africa is far from Malaria areas, and there are no strange African diseases which you could pick up (that is if you respect the same safety rules as anywhere else in the world).

Please ensure that you bring any medication required. If you will require medication whist in South Africa, please contact us to ensure that it is available.

Extra money - How much must I bring?

A lot of interns enjoy extra trips and tourism activities when time permits. We recommend you have around USD1000 extra per month if you wish to go on these. Please note you do not have to go on ANY of these extra trips. This is simply for your information should you wish to.

Arrivals - What happens when I arrive?

When it comes to support, we ensure that each participant is provided with unparalleled, 360 degree support, from your initial contact with the Shark Research Unit, all the way through your program, and even after, as you become part of the SRU Alumni Team.

As part of this promise, we will ensure that one of our dedicated staff will be available to meet you at George airport or the Mossel Bay bus station. We also set up a Whatsapp group to help with managing airport arrivals and assist you during your travel. We will arrange with you prior to your departure that, should you arrive in the agreed upon pick up window, a member of our staff will be there to welcome you, easily identifiable in a Shark Research Unit t-shirt and wearing a friendly smile. This means there will be someone there to greet you as you land, and from there you will be transported to the SRU base base to start your adventure and meet the rest of your team.

Packing - What must I bring?

If you are getting ready to pack, here is a rough packing list of items you should consider bringing.

Clothing

  • Work clothes. Bring what you are comfortable in, but ensure that you have warm, strong work clothing of neutral colours, solid work shoes such as hiking boots or trainers, a good sun hat with a wide brim and a warm hat/beanie. Gloves can be helpful for early mornings. Bring a tracksuit or something similar to lounge around in during the evenings, which can get cold. Also, face buffs help keep off the cold in the evenings.
  • Social clothes. Mossel Bay is a small town, so social clothing should reflect a casual, non-formal style.
  • A swimming costume.

 Video and electronic gear

You are more than welcome to bring any personal videography or photographic equipment, however, this is totally optional. 

Miscellaneous 

  • Covid negative test results
  • Toiletries &  strong sunscreen (there are also plenty of shops to purchase from).
  • Prescription medication.
  • Passport & photocopy of passport.
  • Bank cards (inform your bank of your travels).
  • Spare cash.
  • Phone & cables.

Mail

  • Accommodation address – 182 Aalwyn Way, Aalwyndal, Mossel Bay.
Insurance - Do I need extra insurance?

When you are accepted into this internship program, you will have to sign liability, copyright documents, as well an agreement that you are knowingly partaking in potentially dangerous activities. You will not be covered for accidents, breakages, theft or illnesses, so please do organize your own medical and travel insurances. Chances that you will be injured by a shark are very slim if you follow the safety guidelines, and do not try anything foolish of which we would not approve. However, you will be working in an ocean environment which can result in accidents. So it is important to be covered in case of an emergency or accident. Be sure to have an insurance cover for your entire stay in Southern Africa.

Duration - How long can I participate?

The program consists of both on-site and off-site work.

Prior to arrival in South Africa, participants are required to complete a two week online eLearning program aimed at grounding you in the theoretical skills required to enable you to make a meaningful contribution to the program.

Onsite, participants can participate for a minimum period of two weeks and a maximum period of three months.

Who will you be working with?

Ryan Johnson M.Sc.

Research Scientist

Gibbs Kuguru Ph.D. (Cand.)

Research Scientist 

Craig Ferreira

Shark Conservationist

XXXX XXXXXXX M.Sc (Cand.)

Research Scientist 

Samantha Scott

Student Support

Ms. Jackie Griffin

Chief Executive Officer  

PROGRAM FEE

FROM

$1,800

FLEXI-BOOKING

Book now and choose your dates later, or change your dates for free

Is your dream to work with sharks?

Can our shark development program help achieve this dream.

ABOUT US

The Shark Research Unit is a subsidiary of Blue Wilderness. Our core purpose is to conduct original shark research, conservation and education programs at Aliwal Shoal, South Africa.  We achieve these goals through collaborating with affiliated scientists and postgraduate students. 

CONNECT

ADDRESS

  • 34 Egerton Road
  • Freeland Park
  • Scottburgh 4180
  • South Africa

 

EMAIL

  • support@shark-research.com

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