Hammerhead Fishery and Nursery Assessment Project

Hammerhead Fishery and Nursery Assessment Project

Following reports of baby hammerhead sharks being landed and sold in local fish markets in Mindoro, a small LAMAVE team are heading to the area to assess the situation at the markets between mid-July and the end of September. It is thought that the baby hammerhead sharks are caught in nearby coastal regions and mangrove forests. Based on the results of the market surveys, and following interviews with fishermen, the team will aim to locate and record evidence of live sharks in these areas.

Adult hammerhead sharks have been sighted by divers around Apo Reef some 30 km off the coast of Mindoro. Apo Reef is the second largest contiguous reef in the world and one of the Philippines’ most treasured reefs. It is possible therefore, that these adult hammerhead sharks are using the coastal areas of mainland Mindoro as a nursery. So potentially, this will be the first recorded hammerhead nursery ground in the Philippines. The importance of this to the species cannot be underestimated.

Field surveys will be undertaken by deploying Baited Remote Underwater Video Systems (BRUVS) in the hope of recording juvenile hammerhead sharks in the coastal and mangrove areas. There may also be the chance to do some SCUBA-based shark surveys. This will depend on the on-going requirements throughout the project.


Volunteer Duties

  • Visits to local fish markets and assessing the species caught
  • Preparing equipment and materials for fieldwork
  • Talking with and interviewing local fishermen
  • Boat-based surveys using BRUVS
  • Analysing BRUVS footage
  • Data entry
  • Information, education and communication campaign
  • SCUBA-based visual shark surveys
  • Sharing household chores


Volunteer Requirements

  • At least 18 years old
  • Available to stay for at least two and a half months
  • Fluent in English
  • Excellent swimming/snorkelling skills, physically fit to lift heavy survey equipment
  • Strong interest in shark biology, research and conservation
  • Able to work independently and as part of a team
  • Minimum of PADI Advanced Open Water diving qualification or equivalent (PADI Open Water considered with enough diving experience)
  • Full set of SCUBA equipment or willing to rent a set at the volunteer’s own expense
  • 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 monthly contribution to the project that will pay for general living expenses. Your contribution will cover the following expenses:

  • Accommodation
  • Three meals a day
  • Public transportation to and from the daily survey site
  • Public transport between survey locations
  • Scuba tanks and weights for UVS
  • Survey training
  • LAMAVE T-Shirt

LAMAVE does not cover volunteer expenses for transport to Mindoro, insurance, snorkel or dive equipment, visas, snacks, or other leisure expenses. If additional diving is required to collect data (above the 3 diving days per month), volunteers may be asked to contribute to the cost if they wish to participate on the dives. Please note that all volunteers are required to have health insurance (including scuba-diving) for the duration of their stay at the project.

The project is due to start in mid-July and run until the end of September; therefore we are looking for volunteers to apply immediately. Once a suitable candidate has been found, the position will be offered, so please apply as soon as possible..

Interested individuals may send their CV and cover letter to volunteer@lamave.org.

Download the Hammerhead Volunteer Information Pack here