Mossel Bay



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The Garden Route

Located on South Africa’s world famous Garden Route the harbour town of Mossel Bay is where the Marine Protection Project calls home. Renowned all over the world for breaching great white sharks it is a mecca for shark enthusiasts. But it is also so much more than that.

Here in Mossel Bay we are blessed with an abundance of marine biodiversity and through our conservation programme we want to show you just how incredible it is.

Whether you are a student studying marine sciences, someone who has always loved the ocean or you just want to learn more, our programme is for you. 

Our Mossel Bay conservation programme is available year round and forms the basis of our specialised seasonal expeditions in Cape Town and Durban. Not only will you leave with a better understanding of our oceans, but you will also be equipped with memories to last a lifetime.


our projects

What We Do

Data collection & Cage Diving With Great White Sharks

Witnessing the oceans top predator is a once in a lifetime experience. During trips you can gather behavioural data on white sharks and are responsible for taking photos for our dorsal fin AI (artificial intelligence) project in collaboration with White Shark Ocean.

African penguin & seabird rehabilitation

Every week you can volunteer at the Seabird and Penguin Rehabilitation Centre (SAPREC) in Mossel Bay where you can gain hands-on experience with sick or injured seabirds and learn valuable husbandry skills, contributing to the conservation of endangered seabird species. 

aerial surveys for marine monitoring

We carry out drone surveys to monitor marine species along the Mossel Bay coastline, including sharks, rays and seals. Using this data we are creating an online interactive map to identify sighting hotspots around the bay and you can be a part of this project too during our Mossel Bay programmes.


We regularly host our own beach and coastal cleans around the wider Mossel Bay area that you can join. During these we monitor a number of different variables which inform our plastic pollution research and educational outreach programme in the local area.

Catshark population study

In association with the Oceanographic Research Institute we tag and monitor endemic catshark species using the mark-recapture-method. During our programmes you can get experience of this project and can assist our marine biologist with data analysis. 

cape fur seal project

Seal Island in Mossel Bay is home to around 2,500 cape fur seals. As an important prey source for our white shark population and a vital part of the marine ecosystem we survey the resident colony to learn more about their behaviour. We also monitor for entanglements. 

scuba diving certification & reef science

In collaboration with Go Dive Mossel Bay we can offer you the opportunity to become scuba diving certified or to further their training. Each month we are also proud to carry out reef surveys to assess species richness and abundance. Through our plastic pollution research we also undertake underwater cleans which you can join by either scuba diving or snorkelling. 

conservation lectures & local outreach

Our resident marine biologist is always on hand to answer any questions you may have throughout your time with us. They will also deliver a series of lectures on the local marine wildlife and teach you infield techniques used to research our iconic species. You will also have the opportunity to get involved with our local community outreach initatives and hear from a range of guest lecturers.


We are all connected – land and sea. South Africa is not only home to an array of beautiful marine creatures, but also stunning wildlife throughout the land. As part of your time with us on the Marine Protection Programme in Mossel Bay you will join a bush camp safari to meet these majestic animals in the wild and learn from the rangers who protect them. 

The above is an example of the main projects that we run at the Marine Protection Project, a full list of the opportunities and training we offer is available on request. Typically our internship projects operate Monday – Friday with the weekends available for a variety of excursions including surfing lessons, scuba diving, game drives and hikes around the local area. In collaboration with Go Dive Mossel Bay we are able to offer scuba diving certifications to interns staying with us for a period of one month or longer. We recommend a minimum stay of one month with us to allow for unfavourable weather conditions and to get the most out of your experience with us; however, if you are short on time we can offer a reduced programme for two weeks. For more information on the volunteer internships we offer please get in touch – email us here.

Experience south africa

How You Can Join Us

Conservation Programmes

Want to experience marine conservation?

Our conservation programmes and expeditions are open to anyone! We are excited about inspiring you to become a part of the movement for our oceans – get in touch today!


Research Placements

Searching for your ideal placement host for your undergraduate or masters research?

South Africa offers the perfect setting to study the marine environment and we are passionate about making your experience as smooth as possible. Contact us today to discuss your research requirements with our resident marine biologist or learn about the projects we have on offer.