Cebu Whale Shark Project

Cebu Whale Shark Project Banner

The whale shark research project is LAMAVE’s longest and largest running project.  The whale shark project in Oslob, Cebu involves researching the resident population of whale sharks, monitoring the impacts of provisioning on the animals, and studying the socioeconomic implications of this tourism.


Volunteer Duties

The surveys conducted during your stay may vary depending on our current research priorities. Generally, your obligations as a volunteer will include:

  • Preparing equipment and materials for fieldwork
  • In-water whale shark behavioral surveys
  • Regulation compliance surveys
  • Whale shark photo identification surveys
  • Land surveys
  • Data entry
  • Information, education and communication campaign
  • Sharing house chores


Volunteer Requirements

  • At least 18 years old
  • Available to stay for at least three months
  • Fluent in English
  • Excellent swimming/snorkeling skills ,the ability to free dive to at least 5 meters, and physically fit enough to spend several hours a day in the water, frequently in rough conditions and current
  • Strong interest in whale shark biology, research and conservation
  • Able to work independently and as part of a team
  • Comfortable living in a shared home and in a remote setting with only basic amenities
  • Willing to work long hours if needed
  • A degree in marine science or biology is preferred


We ask that volunteers make a contribution to the project each month to cover living expenses. Students and Filipinos may be entitled to a discounted rate. Your contribution will cover the following expenses:

  • Accommodation
  • Three meals a day
  • Public transportation to and from the survey site
  • Whale shark biology and survey training
  • LAMAVE T-Shirt

LAMAVE does not cover volunteer expenses for transport to and from Oslob, insurance, equipment (e.g. mask, snorkel, and fins), visas, snacks, or other leisure expenses.  Please note that all volunteers are required to have health insurance for the duration of their stay at the project.

Interested individuals may send their CV and cover letter to

Download the Cebu Volunteer Handbook for more information

Images taken during the BBC shark shoot in Oslob, Philippines