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Monday
Jan292018

Liam Cheffins - Tanzania Marine Conservation NGO  Internship

With the intention of learning more about marine conservation and species under threat, Liam joined the Tanzania Marine Conservation project for nearly 100 days and more than achieved his goals!

1) Why did you choose this particular project?
I chose this project because I've always been interested in the marine environment and if by going on this project I could help it I was going to.

2) What kind of work and activities did you do during your project?
We worked on lectures so we can identify species on the survey list. Surveys of both different fish species along with invertebrates and coral types to assess health of the reef.

3) How did the culture and people differ to home? What were the locals like?

The culture differs because everyone always says "Hello" unlike home where people can be quite reserved. The locals are friendly and always stop to chat.

4) What was the accommodation like?
The accommodation is fairly basic, sleeping in huts on raised beds. Surprisingly comfy though and you get used to the different environment in which you are sleeping.

5) What were the staff and other volunteers like?
The staff are very welcoming and always find activities to keep everyone occupied. Other volunteers are nice and it's nice to see other people who are interested in conservation.

6) What was the most amazing moment and what’s your best memory?

My favourite moment of the trip was probably towards the end when me, Chris and Ollie were diving and Chris spotted a Hawksbill Turtle. Which was really special for me in particular because I hadn't seen a turtle until that point which made it really stand out.

7) Do you feel the work you were doing was worthwhile?
I do feel the work we were doing was worthwhile as the information we were gathering was going to be sent to the Marine Park to allow them to better manage the marine protected zone.

8) What sort of wildlife did you encounter?
We encountered so many different species of fish, rays, as well as countless invertebrates such as flatworms and nudibranchs. And on some surveys we were lucky enough to come across a small pod of Bottlenose Dolphin and 2 Humpback Whales.

9) What were you hoping to learn on while on project and have you achieved those goals?
I was hoping to learn more about different species and how they behave, and possibly more about marine conservation and how different zones are managed and with what methods. And I think that has been achieved by the most part.

10) Any tips and advice you might like to pass on to future volunteers?

Tips for future volunteers would be to try and get involved as much as possible and to take in as much as you can. This may very well be a once in a lifetime trip for you so really try to make the most of it.

11) What do you have planned next?
Next I hope to finish my university course, and then maybe get a job in marine conservation if possible and keep trying my best to do what I can. And hopefully one day get my Rescue Diver and Divemaster qualification.

12) Anything else you would like to add?
Have a great time!

By Liam Cheffins - Tanzania Marine Conservation and Diving

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