The Splendors of the Sea

Marine Conservation Expedition in the Seychelles

Scuba dive in the Indian Ocean on this critical conservation expedition.

Durations: 1 - 12 weeks
Critical science

Critical science

You'll contribute to vital conservation research targeted at protecting the earth's most valuable ecosystems.
Ethical engagement

Ethical engagement

Using the UN's SDGs as a framework, we've made a commitment to positive, constructive and sustainable impact.
Beautiful adventures

Beautiful adventures

You'll spend your days exploring some of the world's most breathtaking, exhilarating and remote wildernesses.

Program information

Get your PADI Advanced Open Water and PADI Reef Ecosystem Diver (RESD) Specialty qualifications as a member of an expedition team working on critical marine conservation projects. Your participation in marine species research will contribute towards providing data to the local government on various conservation initiatives. Partnerships such as this are vital in showing the interconnectedness between social and environmental issues and how they affect community development and conservation efforts in the pristine islands of Seychelles.

Join a program abroad and save up to 15%!

Book by 30 September
Book with confidence
Travel flexibility. Transfer for free up to 45 days before travel. Because life happens. Terms and conditions apply.
Dates & Prices
What's Included
Life On Base
Free time
Cultural Immersion
Speak to alumni
Parent Info
Your Impact
Our Ethics
Program ethics
Qualifications & Training Options
Support & Safety
Live Updates

Program overview

Travel to the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean as a member of an expedition and work on critical marine conservation projects amongst the beautiful islands of Seychelles.

You will contribute towards various conservation-related surveys aimed at providing data to the Seychelles Parks and Gardens Authority (formerly Seychelles National Marine Park Authority – SNPA) and local government on coral reef, fish and invertebrate research and assist with the development of environmental education awareness. You might also undertake marine plastic pollution clean-ups both on the land around the base, our neighbouring beaches and across our adopted dive sites.

You’ll spend a large part of your time on this expedition scuba diving and as such you need to be qualified to at least PADI Open Water, or equivalent before joining the program. For non-divers wishing to attend, we can recommend local dive centres that will help you qualify before your intended start date. Receive the PADI Reef Ecosystem Diver (RESD) Specialty segment of the PADI Divemaster course. This unique offering by GVI & PADI teaches you about best practices when conducting underwater coral reef surveys. This is offered to participants staying for longer than 2 weeks on the program.


Find science and adventure

Explore the open seas while you learn how to identify fish, coral and invertebrates as part of a research team conducting daily coral reef surveys.

Find a diver’s paradise

Explore different dive sites among the tropical islands of Seychelles and experience incredible local marine megafauna like turtles, sharks, rays and dolphins.

Be part of the real deal

Contribute to ongoing environmental projects that address critical challenges aligned to the global UN SDGs.

Join ethical initiatives

Join local conservation partners and qualified professionals to ensure your efforts are highly ethical, meaningful and sustainable.

Experience unreal adventures

Venture outside typical travel itineraries to get exclusive access to extraordinary remote habitats, rare species and unique ecosystems.

Make friends for life

Share epic experiences with like-minded, passionate changemakers from all over the globe.

Enjoy a hassle-free, safe trip

With expert local staff and 24/7 support at every step – you can relax and enjoy the experience stress-free.

Take a break

Disconnect from the digital world and reconnect with nature, yourself and your purpose.


Some of the example typical activities you could participate in on this program.

Fieldwork training

Learn how to identify species and conduct surveys so that you can contribute to data collection efforts and help build an inventory of marine species in Seychelles.

Support conservation surveys

Assist with reef ecosystem monitoring to assess bleaching and growth/recovery rates of the coral. You will also get involved with invertebrate, fish, seagrass, shark and other megafauna surveys.

Support conservation project team

Assist with additional activities as needed. This might include: seagrass ecosystem monitoring, marine megafauna sightings, weekly beach cleans, and entering data from beach patrols and cleanups into citizen science databases.

PADI Advanced Open Water

Gain more diving experience by completing different types of adventure dives: deep water, underwater navigator, peak performance buoyancy, underwater naturalist, night diver, search and recovery diver, and boat diver.

PADI Emergency First Response (EFR)

Learn primary and secondary care theory and then practise applying these skills in role-playing scenarios designed to improve your first aid knowledge and prepare you for an emergency.

PADI RESD Speciality

Undertake a PADI specialty that is exclusive to GVI – the PADI Reef Ecosystem Diver (RESD) Distinctive Speciality. This certification has been uniquely designed to advance your conservation diving skills and teach you how to conduct coral reef surveys.

PADI Rescue Diver

Increase your awareness of diver safety, manage more complex situations and apply direct intervention techniques via role playing rescue scenarios. Only applies to programs longer than 8 weeks.


  • Data entry
  • EFR training
  • Marine conservation
  • PADI
  • Species identification
  • Survey research


Some of the partners we work with on base.

Seychelles Parks & Gardens Authority (SPGA)
Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment
Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA)
Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT)
Blue Economy Research Institute (BERI Labs)
Coral Watch

Program details

Dates and prices

Select a start date:

Everlasting summer? Yes please!

Join a program abroad and get a special offer.

Book by 30 September to save up to 15%!
Payment plans. Flexible payment plans allow you to pay in instalments.

What happens next?

Once you apply, a personal Enrollment Manager will be assigned to walk you through the rest of the process.


The following itinerary is an example of the activities and project work that participants might get involved in on this program. More specific details of the program are finalised several months before each start date.


Start your day bright and early! If you're an early riser, walk to the beach and take in the sunrise and the ocean view.


Prepare breakfast with the team. Then help to get the boat and equipment ready for your first dive of the day.


At the start of your program you’ll focus on training. Otherwise, this is when we do our first dive of the day!


Lunch is enjoyed in our dining hall or on board the boat to fuel all our diving and scientific research!


Continue training or perform research dives, beach cleans, shark surveys, or seagrass surveys.


Return to base and get stuck into some base duties, including kit cleaning and storage.


Dinner is prepared in turns by “cooking teams”. Thanks, chef!


Time to relax or get involved in social activities. Head off to bed at around 21:00.

What’s included?

What's Included
24-hour emergency desk
24-hour in-country support
Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
All project equipment
Food (except on long-term internship placements
Safe and basic accommodation (usually shared)
Pre-program training
Group introductory call
Welcome presentation
Endorsed GVI Specialisation Course
Endorsed Leadership Course
Project work
Sustainable project work
Leadership responsibilities
Data collection and research
Real projects with partners
Remote support
Program training
Weekly group check ins
Remote Academic Internship Supervisor
Remote Career Internship Supervisor
Preferential recruitment on GVI positions
Job portal access
Endorsed Careers Course
Career coaching sessions
Certificates and achievements
PDF reference - upon request
Linkedin reference and skills endorsement
What's Excluded
Additional drinks and gratuities
Extra local excursions
International and domestic airport taxes
Medical and travel insurance
Personal items and toiletries
Police or background check
Visa costs

Life On Base

A short three-minute walk from the beach, our base in Baie Ternay Marine National Park is located in a picturesque location with tropical weather. With a thirty-minute walk to the nearest village and shop, our base is in a protected and secluded area. It almost feels like we have a private beach all to ourselves (the road ends at the base). The variety of marine life makes this an amazing location – you can see a plethora of life around the island and in the sea.   

Originally a school, the building has been transformed into an environmentally aware research base with classrooms for presentations, a library containing marine identification books and resources, and a recreation room to relax in after a day of diving. There are also giant hammocks (for more relaxation) and a large grassy area for volleyball. We also have party and BBQ themed nights, and enjoy film and documentary nights in the rec room cinema. Outside in the seating area, participants like to sit and play cards, or just enjoy the weather. Life on base is much like a big family and we share cooking, cleaning, and dive operation duties on a rotation basis. 

Those who’ve completed their intensive survey and dive training can look forward to short boat trips to the dive sites. Depending on the weather conditions and schedule for the week, dives take place once or twice daily,  five days a week. On other days, you’ll either conduct marine debris surveys or environmental education sessions including awareness raising with the local community members, depending on the needs of the project at the time. Staff will often deliver presentations throughout the week, with study time included in the daily schedule. Days start early, with boat preparations or training, and end with dinner, followed by an evening debrief where we share with the group all the exciting things we have seen, and go through the schedule for the next day. After this, it’s time to relax, take in the beautiful sunset, and share stories. There are also a number of base dogs (who love lots of attention) to keep you company.

Being an eco-minded base, there is a recycling area on base, and planters for growing local endemic plant species, which utilise the harvested rainwater. It’s great when participants bring their own ideas and get involved with more eco-friendly practices, such as ecobricking and non-recycling storage methods.


See what it’s like to live off the beaten track! You’ll sleep in dorm rooms of up to eight people. The gender-separated bathrooms are shared, with showers and flush toilets. The...


We provide transfers from the airport to our base in Baie Ternay National Park, which is about an hour’s drive. The beach is very close to our accommodation so we simply walk do...


We are based in a protected natural reserve, which means that mobile signal doesn’t cover the entire area. There are spots with good phone coverage and we have a phone on base f...


Sample the many flavours of Seychellois cuisine, from fresh coconut water sipped out of the fruit to green papaya salad. All food is provided by GVI and prepared by participants...


The Seychelles has an equatorial climate, which means sunshine and warm water all year round, with temperatures averaging 26ºC – 30ºC (79ºF – 86ºF). Tropical rainfal...

COVID-19 Safety

Enhanced cleaning and social-distancing measures in place.

Learn more

Download our Travel Smart Checklist

Essential information you need to travel safely during the COVID-19 pandemic - including destination ratings, flight bookings and tests.

GVI experiences included in your program, at no extra cost.

Offered once a month, expand your adventure with GVI Experiences. These are just some of the activities offered on your program!

We want you to make the most of the chance to live in – and contribute towards –  the most diverse and unique wildernesses and communities on earth. Introducing GVI Experiences – immersive adventure, cultural and wellness activities exclusive to GVI that have been specially designed in collaboration with our local partners to support and stimulate sustainable economic development. 

Enhance your impact. Expand your adventure. Explore your world.

Learn to cook traditional Seychellois Creole dishes
Tastes of the island
Visit the Mission Ruins at Venn's Town
We recall to never repeat
Paddleboard across the bay
Daybreak on the water
Hike through lush forests and across rocky plateaus
View from the top
Explore the ocean after dark with a night dive
Swim amongst the stars
Discover rare and endemic species of plants
Natural biodiversity sanctuary
Swim at a secret beach
Paradise found
Go fishing with local fishers
Catch and release

Free time

Joining a GVI program not only allows you to collaborate with communities or work toward preserving unique ecosystems – but it also offers plenty of opportunities to explore the surrounding area or travel further to see what other parts of the region have to offer over weekends.

Field staff are a great source of advice and have helped us put together the following information on local travel options. You can choose to travel before or after your experience with GVI (subject to immigration restrictions), solidifying the lifetime friendships you’ve established on the program. Please note that the below options are not included in the program fee, and would be up to you to arrange at your own expense.

Weekend Trips

Takamaka rum distillery

The rum distillery at Pointe Au Sel is a popular destination for volunteers to visit. There’s also a tea plantation and local handicraft village ...

Victoria City

The capital of the Seychelles, Victoria (one of the smallest capital cities in the world) is only an hour away from our base in Baie Ternay Marin...

Beau Vallon Bay

The most popular tourist spot on the main island of the Seychelles, Beau Vallon offers a massive stretch of beach, lined with shops and restauran...

Local Adventures

Water sports

Other than diving, there are many other water sports in the Seychelles, like surfing, kayaking, sailing and snorkeling. And of course, there̵...

Cap Matoopa hike

Cap Matoopa is the highest point next to our base, and offers spectacular views of Cap Ternay Bay. Climb the jungle-encrusted granite rocks to th...

Recreational diving

The dives we conduct on the project have a strict research focus. There are, however, plenty of opportunities to go for a recreational dive in yo...

Hiking and climbing

The inner islands of the Seychelles, where you will be staying while on this project, are made of granite, which means there are many opportuniti...

Further Travels

Inner island hopping

From the capital of Victoria, you can catch a ferry to many of the other inner islands, like Praslin, La Digue, Silhouette, Felicity and Sister. ...

Cultural Immersion

Engaging intimately with a new context teaches global awareness, adaptability and critical thinking – skills highly valued in the modern marketplace. Local and cultural immersion is encouraged on all our programs around the world, and will also be one of the most enjoyable aspects of your experience. Luckily, there are many different activities that you can get involved in during your free time, or before and after your program.

On our community programs, the focus is on cultural topics, while on marine or wildlife programs the emphasis is more on the environmental element. Use your evenings and weekends to explore topics like local cuisine and religion, or how sustainable development challenges are affecting local contexts.


GVI’s marine conservation program in the Seychelles is based on the main island of Mahe – the largest granitic island in the Seychelles, surround...


The Seychelles is a tropical archipelago off the east coast of Africa, consisting of over 100 islands. The islands located near the center of the...


Mads Skou Poulsen

28 Oct, 2022

Great lifetime experience. It is awesome to be living in a little community focused on conservation and science!

Oliver Grun

16 Sep, 2022

I really liked the atmosphere at the base. The staff is very helpful and very friendly. The base itself is very basic, but it slowly improves. If you want to have a fun time with a ...

Francesca Elsmore

16 Sep, 2022

The best experience ever! I cannot recommend this enough to anyone looking to gain experience in conservation and have a jolly good giggle whilst doing so. Take as long as you can ...

Ben Read

02 Sep, 2022

GVI was an amazing journey. I spent 4 weeks diving at Cap Ternay and I don't regret a single day of it - if I'd had more time I would have extended my stay. The cold showers take s ...

Benedict George Davies

18 Aug, 2022

Very fun. Extremely nice people & a great vibe. Dive sites were amazing & skills learned were very useful. Takes time to get use to the food but it's enjoyable to cook for large gr ...

Elie Claerhout

29 Jul, 2022

I was only supposed to be staying for 2 weeks, but ended up extending it to 3 weeks because I just couldn't leave :). I honestly loved everything about the program, the busy days, ...

Tara Peterich

06 Jul, 2022

I've had a really good time here, learned a lot about conservation! I've spent a lot of time doing the thing I love most, diving. The staff was always helpful and treated us like t ...

Elizabeth Anne Crommelin

24 Jun, 2022

It was so much fun and I learned a lot more about marine conservation and made friends that I will keep forever!

Amy de Ste Croix

12 May, 2022

Overall my experience with GVI was amazing. I took a term off of school in my 3rd year of university because I was feeling unsure as to what I wanted to do for a career. Originally ...

Greta Hartmann

02 Apr, 2022

I had a lovely experience with GVI. I participated in this programme because I wanted to get a look into marine conservation and see if it is something I want to study later. Right ...

Karen Dulong Hoff

24 Mar, 2022

I really enjoyed staying in Cap Ternay! The place is beautiful, like paradise! The training is really good and I felt very secure in the water. The ocean here is amazing as well, a ...

Noora Janette Turtinen

18 Mar, 2022

My experience was pretty good. Four weeks is very short time and went so fast. I wish I would have had more time to do surveys.

Jason Horton

16 Aug, 2021

Very good experience, learned so much about marine life and diving in general

Molly Eldridge

21 Jun, 2021

The project leader was excellent and the overall experience was excellent.

Tom Jacobsohn

28 Jan, 2020

I took part in the marine conservation project in the Seychelles. The reason I got involved with GVI was because I knew that I wanted to do scuba diving for a longer period of time ...

Anne Kathrine Vinding Mikkelsen

28 Jan, 2020

I was at work and came over an ad on Facebook from Kilroy with this opportunity to go to a place I didn’t know existed where I could dive and at the same time do something good for ...

Christian Blair

26 Nov, 2019

I found out about GVI through a company called Go-Eco; while researching gap year programs that where dive centric. On the GVI website it told me exactly what to expect. A great ti ...

Corinna Kolarczyk

26 Nov, 2019

I was joining the GVI project on the Seychells – Bay Ternay Marine Conservation for 7 weeks as a volunteer during a career break. I found the GVI organization as a recommendatio ...

Alex Williams

26 Nov, 2019

I did the 3 months in Seychelles studying coral, and then moving on to Thailand to do my DM. I found the program and it suited to what I was looking to do, some type of marine cons ...

Bo Louis

07 Mar, 2019

After completing 4 weeks here at the GVI base in Cap Ternay I can say that it has been an incredible, eye-opening experience. I came here because I wanted a new experience and some ...

Eleanor Forsyth

07 Mar, 2019

My name is Eleanor Forsyth, I’m 18 years old and I was volunteering for 6 weeks on the Cap Ternay base in the Seychelles for marine conservation. I originally chose to go on the pr ...

Mimi Black

07 Mar, 2019

I volunteered on the GVI Seychelles Cap Ternay for weeks. I got involved with GVI through their website after researching volunteer projects abroad that including diving and GVI lo ...

Sean Nordgren-Sewell

07 Mar, 2019

The project that took part in was the Seychelles Environmental conservation at Cap Ternay starting on May 18 th ending on July 21 st . I became involved with GVI because I was taki ...

Martin Balzarek

07 Mar, 2019

I am Martin and working was an auditor at HSBC focusing on Information Technology. In the past years I used my holidays to join other volunteering projects i.e. in Namibia (EHRA, f ...

Anna Merk

07 Mar, 2019

Before joining GVI I graduated University (B.Sc. Biology). In order to learn something about the work in the field of marine biology I joined the marine conservation project at Cap ...

Sandra Schmidt

07 Mar, 2019

did the GVI Seychelles Mahe project at Cap Ternay. I learned about project through the volunteer page GoEco. An average day here starts with a wakeup between 7 and 8 in the morning ...

Juliette Thibodeau

07 Mar, 2019

I worked on the GVI project in Mahe, Seychelles. I became involved in this project after searching online for a marine conservation organization to work with. I had a wonderful exp ...

Tom Jacobsohn

06 Mar, 2019

I took part in the marine conservation project in the Seychelles. The reason I got involved with GVI was because I knew that I wanted to do scuba diving for a longer period of time ...

Kira Bleuler

11 Oct, 2018

The two months I spent on the Seychelles with GVI were part of the best time of my life! I met the coolest people and had loads of fun diving. I was definitely an experience I’ll n ...

Maria Antonia Rupp Pardos

11 Oct, 2018

We arrived in the Seychelles on the 7th of January, immediately we were blown away by the incredible nature. Life on base at first was a little shocking to me but I got used to it s ...

Leigh-Anne Webster

11 Oct, 2018

My first week with GVI Mahe, Seychelles at Cap Ternay was a very busy one, the amount of information I learnt in such a short period of time was astounding, and yet I thrived to wa ...

James Mckie

11 Oct, 2018

When I announced to friends and family my travel plans to volunteer in the Seychelles many replied with 'Wheres that?'. My fascination with idealic islands and making an impact has ...

Lynsey Wheater

25 Nov, 2013

I had a brilliant time, the staff were really friendly and welcoming and I loved all the activities. There was so much variety and a lot to learn - I would definitely go back. This ...

Speak to alumni

If you’d like to find out what the experience of joining a GVI project is really like, simply contact us and we’ll put you in touch with one of our many Alumni.

We’ll try to match you to an Alum based on your location, nationality, age, stage of academic career, gender, and program interests. This allows you to gain insights into the experience that is most relevant to you.

Depending on your location you might be able to speak to an Alum over the phone or online, or meet up with them face-to-face at a coffee shop nearby. We also run a series of small events around the world where you can speak to GVI Alumni, Ambassadors and staff members.

Get a first-hand perspective

Meet us

Meet the team

Get acquainted with the GVI Africa, Seychelles, Mahe family

Jasmine Taberer

Program Manager

This is Jasmine, also known as Jazzy, our wonderful Program Manager at the GVI base on Mahe Island, Seychelles. Jazzy grew up with a keen interest in conservation which lead her ...

Parent Info

‘If only every student could do this. It changes your life in all the right ways,’ says Chris Heritage, parent of Luke Heritage, one of our teen volunteers who has participated on two GVI programs, one in Costa Rica and another in South Africa.

We are a parent-run organisation that is incredibly serious about health and safety, and increasing the impact, as well as the long-term career benefits of our programs. Our programs help young people develop the skills to select a career path that is personally fulfilling, and live a life aligned to the well-being of our planet and the global community.

GVI is a proud member of the Gap Year Association.

Ken and Linda Jeffrey, whose son Sam volunteered with GVI in Thailand, talk about how the experience affected Sam. He also went on to volunteer with GVI again in South Africa. ‘I know it sounds like a cliche but in a sense, he did go away as a boy and he came back as a young man. Both of us could recommend GVI without any hesitation to any other parent thinking about exploring an opportunity for their children to explore the world and to see different parts of it.’

Parent Info Pack

Download the Parent Pack and learn more about:

Our staff: All our projects are run by staff, selected, vetted, trained, and managed by our central office.
Health and safety: Our safety practices include a child and vulnerable adult protection policy and high participant ratios.
Staying in touch: See what’s happening on base, by following a hub’s dedicated Facebook page.
Free parent consultations: We would love to talk to you about exciting opportunities available for your child.


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

As part of this promise, we will ensure, whenever possible, that one of our dedicated staff will be available to meet you at the airport. In most locations, we also set up a Whatsapp group to help with managing airport arrivals. 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 GVI t-shirt or holding a GVI sign 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 your GVI base to start your adventure and meet the rest of your team.

COVID-19 safety

Enhanced cleaning and social-distancing measures in place.

Learn more


Download our Travel Smart Checklist

Essential information you need to travel safely during the COVID-19 pandemic - including destination ratings, flight bookings and tests.

Your Impact

All of our programs have short-, mid- and long-term objectives that align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualise their contribution to the UN SDGs.

Prior to your arrival on base, you will be educated about the UN SDGs. Then once you arrive on base, you’ll learn about the specific goals we have in this particular location, our various objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these.

Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to be an active global citizen after your program, helping to fulfil our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.

Healthy corals are key to the health of our planet. They help fish populations regenerate themselves, provide shelter for juvenile fish, assist in removing excess carbon dioxide from our atmosphere, and protect living spaces near the shore from damage by waves and storms.

In 1998, a massive coral bleaching event decimated many coral reefs, where up to 90% of coral reefs were lost around the globe, including the reefs surrounding the inner granitic islands of the Seychelles. Algae is the main food source for corals and helps to maintain their structure. Coral bleaching occurs when rising water temperatures cause the algae that live on corals to detach themselves from their hosts. Warm waters are the result of climate change caused by excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

In addition to the high seasonal sea temperatures, the coral reefs around the Seychelles face numerous other threats, such as population pressure, poaching, and unsustainable tourism, all of which are challenging to quantify without a solid, scientific basis. In order to effectively manage and conserve the reef, a continuous monitoring program is necessary to build up a comprehensive picture of the ecological health of the reef.

Efforts to monitor the recovery of reefs in the Seychelles were initiated after the 1998 event. This began with a three-year project, named the Shoals of Capricorn, which extensively monitored the entire inner islands. The Seychelles Centre for Marine Research & Technology  (SCMRT) was set up at this time to continue the work and to aid the Seychelles National Parks and Gardens Authority (SGPA), with the management of the marine parks. After the Shoals of Capricorn project, the monitoring was taken over by Reef Care International.

This program has a significant impact on local and national marine conservation laws and regulations, including the utilisation of GVI collected data to help establish and set catchment limits each year for key fisheries species.

Corals and Fish Surveys

We established our project in the Seychelles in 2004 with the aim of aiding our primary partner SGPA. At over 20 sites across the North-West coast of Mahe, GVI staff and participants use the protocols of Reef Care International in order to survey the reefs. These surveys include noting the health of existing coral, evidence of new young coral growing on the reef, the presence, abundance and diversity of fish and invertebrate species, and select species sizes. Data on coral recovery as well as fish abundance and diversity is passed on to the SPGA to assist with their management and legislative decisions, which might include updates to policies, expanding currently protected areas, or protecting additional areas from overfishing. For example, sea cucumbers are profitable, so we monitor them to assist our partners in making informed science-based decisions. In addition, we use a different citizen science coral monitoring technique to provide data to CoralWatch, a worldwide coral monitoring methodology based at Queensland University, Australia, which aims to monitor coral bleaching and recovery events around the globe.

Sharing our long-term monitoring data to SPGA allows them to better track and monitor  changing reef dynamics and the potential recovery of coral species and coral reef associated species. This partnership provides invaluable data which is then used to petition for science backed policy changes to better protect the reefs and marine life in the Seychelles. 

Commercial Marine Species Surveys

Unsustainable fishing is also a threat to the health of the Seychellois marine life. This  affects the well-being of the local community (many of whom rely on fish for daily subsistence), and the growth of the local economy (seafood from the Seychelles is exported and sold to international visitors to the islands). Its underwater treasures are another reason why many people visit every year, bringing capital into the country. We assist the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA), through our partnership with SPGA, with monitoring commonly harvested species like octopus, lobster, and sea cucumber populations.

Marine Megafauna Sightings

Incidental sightings of marine megafauna like reef sharks and sea turtles occur frequently during dives, and this information is noted and passed on to the Ocean Biogeographic Information System or OBIS Seamap, an online database designed to keep track of various large marine species around the world. 

Marine Plastic Pollution Cleanups

Beach cleans and ocean floor cleanup dives are also regularly conducted as part of the Dive Against Debris (DAD) initiative. For DAD, we dive to pick up marine fishing gear and ghost nets (these account for more than 50% of all marine trash) as well as discarded plastics and general waste. The data about types and amounts of marine plastics collected is sent to Project AWARE, an organisation established to monitor the abundance and diversity of marine debris around the world. 

Environmental Education

Environmental education is also an important part of our GVI Mahe program. The main aim of this program is to get members of the local community involved in discussions around issues affecting their marine environment. A new program called the LEAP Project (Locally Empowered Area Protection) has been established with our partners Nature Seychelles and aims to enhance coastal and marine socio-ecological resilience and biodiversity conservation in the Western Indian Ocean. With a much higher level of community engagement and involvement with local groups, such as schools and other environmentally focused local NGOs.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals

All of our programs have short-, mid- and long-term objectives that align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or UN SDGs. We want to be able to measure our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, so all our staff and volunteers know which UN SDGs they’re making a substantial contribution to. This also helps our local partners and communities measure and visualise their contribution to the UN SDGs.

Prior to your arrival on base, you’ll be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. Then, once on base you’ll learn about the specific goals of your location, the long-, mid- and short-term objectives, and also insight into how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these goals on a global level.

Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to act as active global citizens after your program, helping to fulfil our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.

The main United Nations Sustainable Development Goals we strive to support at GVI Mahe are Goal 14: Life Below Water, Goal 15: Life on Land and Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals.

Project objectives


GVI Mahe, Seychelles Long-term Objectives:

1. Provide a long-term and consistent collection of data, which assesses the overall health and development of the reef system in Northern Mahe on behalf of the Seychelles Parks and Gardens Authority. This data can also be used for regional coastal marine management and international understanding of changing reef systems.

2. Increase the scientific output and awareness of the project through the publication of findings.

3. Continue to support the International School of Seychelles by providing their students with environmental education with a strong focus on marine ecosystems and their inhabitants.

4. Increase in-country capacity by assisting with environmental education and training to members of the local communities.

5. Continue to minimise our environmental impact at Cap Ternay and raise awareness of environmental issues among our participants and visitors.

Our Ethics

Below is a list of core ethics and best practices we believe are essential to the operation of high quality, ethical volunteer and sustainable development programs. We believe that all responsible volunteer and sustainable development operations should focus upon these principles. If you are considering volunteering, these are some of the key considerations you should question, to ensure that your time and money contributes towards positive change.


We want to constantly develop our own understanding of ethical best practice. In so doing, we aim to provide an exemplary industry standard for other education institutions, international development organisations, and social enterprises. Our Badge of Ethics stands for the drive to always do good, better. Find out more, click on the Badge below.

Our 10 ethical commitments


Locally Driven, Collaborative Projects

We aim to design all our projects in collaboration with local organizations and communities and ensure that they are locally driven.


Clear Objectives & Sustainable Outcomes

We aim to clearly define short-, mid-, and long-term objectives with sustainable outcomes for all our projects.


Impact Reporting

We aim to track, record, and publish the impact of each of our projects.


Working Against Dependency

We aim to build in-country capacity by assisting local organizations in becoming self-sustaining.


Responsible Exit Strategies

For each local organization we work with, we aim to have a plan in place for withdrawing support responsibly.