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Protect whales & dolphins
in their natural
habitat

Gain valuable hands-on experience in marine conservation in Tenerife

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  • Duration
    1-24 Weeks
  • Accompanied age
    5+
  • Minimum age
    16+
  • Start dates
    Every Monday
  • From
    £130
  • Duration
    1-24 Weeks
  • Accompanied age
    5+
  • Minimum age
    16+
  • Start dates
    Every Monday
  • From
    £130

Tenerife dolphin & whale conservation

Gain valuable hands-on experience in marine conservation as you work to protect whales and dolphins in their natural habitat. You will not find a better location than Tenerife to take part in worthwhile research, with over one third of all cetacean species either residing or passing through these Canarian waters.

You will provide a big contribution into our ongoing research by monitoring behaviour and wild population numbers of whales and dolphins in the area. 

Tenerife is the perfect island to come and volunteer and go on an adventure. Not only are flights not too expensive nor long, this unique experience will also allow you to explore the countless picturesque beaches, snorkel in the crystal clear waters, trek up the mountainous lunar landscapes (including the iconic Mount Teide) and enjoy the year-round sunshine!

The perfect project

I volunteered in Tenerife on the programme involving whales and dolphins for 2 weeks in August 2019 - but I honestly wish I had stayed for longer! My overall experience was amazing and I hope to go again in August this year if the travel ban has been lifted and is safe to do so. I had ama... Read More

Rhion HawkesApril 2020

Booking made so easy

So far I haven't actually gone on my volunteering work with TMR but throughout the whole booking and payments the founder, Chris Holland, has been amazing to myself and my friend taking part in the volunteer work. He has made it so easy and stress free for the both of us as this is our first t... Read More

Lily MascallNovember 2019

Great experience

I booked through TMR to volunteer in Tenerife. It was so easy to do and staff were really helpful. I would definitely book through this company again.

Yolanda DensleySeptember 2019

Tenerife whale and dolphin conservation

I volunteered for in Dolphin and Whale conservation in Tenerife, and what an adventure I had. Before departing for the trip, the team at The Mighty Roar were amazing in keeping me informed about the program, and pre-departure information, so when I flew out I felt prepared and ready to take on... Read More

Anaya WakefieldSeptember 2019

Amazing

Volunteering in Tenerife was amazing! The days on the boats were fun, and everyone was nice to everyone. It was such a good experience, and I wish I had gone for longer. In terms of free time, it depended on whether or not I was on boats that day: if on boats I would get back and eat dinner st... Read More

Claire SchumannSeptember 2019

Great time in Tenerife

When I arrived, I first had to get used to the accommodation situation because it was small and packed (the summer months tend to be busy). It is important to be able to take the initiative because you can decide yourself how you want to spend your time there. I grouped up with some friends to... Read More

Lorena StreitAugust 2019

Such an amazing experience

Such an amazing experience, never got bored always things to do and an absolutely mesmerising and incredible 2 weeks.

Rhion HawkesAugust 2019

Volunteering in Tenerife

I volunteered in Tenerife and it was an incredible experience. I had the opportunity to see two species of dolphin in their natural habitat, to climb mount Teide at night and watch the sunrise, as well as enjoy being in such a beautiful country. I would recommend it to anyone.

Matthew WidelkoJuly 2019

In April, I chose to do the Tenerife Dolphin and Whale Conservation programme with The Mighty Roar because I’m currently on a gap year and I wanted to try something completely different. There is a nice atmosphere because the conservation work means a lot to everyone and there’s always a buzz ... Read More

Phoebe WhiteleyApril 2019

Background to the marine programme

Tenerife is one of the top destinations in the world to observe free-living whales and dolphins. The canary islands are home to several resident communities of pilot whales and dolphins that remain in the area throughout the year - to which they can generally be observed 80% of the days. Not only this, but there is a busy migratory route that passes right by the island, allowing you to see a total of 24 other species at different times of the year, from the giant blue whale to the majestic killer whale.

As with a growing list of animals, whales and dolphins are under considerable threat like never before. The marine mammals in and around Tenerife are currently facing a number of threats, including habitat degradation, climate change, injuries from ships and commercial fishing equipment, prey depletion (caused by overfishing) and noise and health effects resulting from increased in-water pollution.

Over the last few decades, the local team have led the way in developing science-based research and conservation efforts to help protect whales and dolphins in the Canarian waters. This long-term dataset is uniquely valuable for understanding how to monitor these cetaceans and to help implement plans in the future to better protect them.

On top of this, the team have also collected information on the behaviour of cetaceans and their reaction to human interaction via tourism. With Tenerife being a major tourist hotspot, this has never been so important. All of the data collected will address the effects of human activities on marine mammals by assessing the cumulative human impacts and to help reduce potential threats through a combination of engagement and applied scientific research.

We need committed volunteers like you to ensure the conservation of a number of endangered cetacean species. The baseline data you collect will contribute towards the long-term management of the area and assist in promoting marine conservation in the wider region. These activities contribute to Tenerife’s expanding knowledge of the whale and dolphin populations, informing tourists and industry members and building on the ongoing conservation efforts on the island.

Where will I be volunteering?

The programme currently works with a number of whale watching vessels that operate from two different ports; Puerto Colon and Los Galletas. The local co-ordinator will create a weekly rota which will specify which boat you will be placed on and on which days - anything from a small 15 person yacht to a large 250 person catamaran. The range of vessels gives you a fantastic and varied experience which will provide you with memories that will last a lifetime.

When you're not scheduled to be on the boats you will be assigned several tasks (listed below), which will be carried out at the volunteer accommodation located in the small mountainous town of Arona. 

What is my role?

Your role while in Tenerife will be to collect vital research data and photographs of any whale and/or dolphin observations made while on the whale watching boats. The data collected includes population numbers and health, interactions with other vessels, as well as behaviour patterns, habitat conditions and more! This is your perfect opportunity to learn all about these fascinating creatures and to gain practical experience within this exciting field as you spend your days out at sea on one of the ethical tourist whale watching boats.

As you will be placed on several different boats with the potential to encounter so many different resident and migratory mammals, every day will be exciting and different. Some of the activities you will assist with include:

Data collection - As you will be spending so much time at sea to research and monitor the whales and dolphins in the area, there will be lots of data available to collect. For every interaction you will need to fill in a data sheet that collects important information about population numbers, behaviour patterns, interactions with vessels and animals, habitat conditions and so much more. At the end of the day and during your non-sea days you will then have the task of inputting everything onto our ever expanding database – one of the most complete sources of information on cetaceans in the world!

Photo identification - Taking fin-shots are an extremely important part of the data collection as it is the only way we are able to identify individual cetaceans and their unique behaviours. You will be responsible for handling a DSLR camera and will be taught the basics about how to identify the animals by their dorsal fins.

Dorsal fins are used for identification because each fin is unique like the fingerprint of a human. Building a catalogue of fin-shots will allow us to create associations between individuals and determine connections between family pods.

Assisting passengers - As volunteers are allowed on-board the ethical whale watching boats free of charge, we need to assist the crew where needed. This could be anything from pointing out any animals seen, teaching your newly gained knowledge about the cetacean species, helping serve drinks and assisting passengers wherever necessary.

Raising awareness - As we come across many hundreds of thousands of tourists each year, we believe we can do a lot to raise awareness about important environmental issues. We are currently running a community outreach programme to highlight issues threatening whales and dolphins in Tenerife and also how plastic is having a devastating impact on our world.

You may also be able to take part in ad  hoc land surveys from viewpoints dotted along the coast. Here you will be able to monitor wildlife populations, boat traffic and more.

What will a typical day look like?

You will generally be volunteering from Monday to Friday where your working day starts around 7am and normally finishes at 8pm. The weekends are free for you enjoy your surroundings and to explore everything Tenerife has to offer.

Although we will try to schedule you as often as possible on the boats, we cannot guarantee the amount of times each week you will be out at sea. The local team aim to get all volunteers to spend at least 3 days per week on one of the ethical whale watching boats, but this does depend on several factors.

During a typical boat day, you will head down to the harbour at around 8am and get picked back up at 6pm. These full on days will see you at sea for around 8 hours, with a 3 hour morning trip and then a 5 hour afternoon trip immediately after– no other programme offers this! 

For all of the other days where you are not on a whale watching boat, you will start the day at around 9am with house chores and other activities. For the rest of the day you will assist with entering all of the data and photos as well as anything else required.

At the end of each day, everyone congregates to share their findings from the day and to have some dinner.

Where will I be staying?

During your time in Tenerife you will be staying within the volunteer house situated in the small town of Arona. Located up in the mountains, just a short drive from the coast and tourist areas, this is the perfect place to call home. Looking down across the mountainous landscape to the sea, you will not find better views on the whole of the island than outside of your window!

Enjoy the best of both worlds. If you’re looking to relax then you can enjoy the quietness that surrounds you, head off on one of the many treks nearby or head to a local vineyard to try some local wine and cheese. If you are looking for a more action packed time, then Playas de las Americas is just a stones throw away where you can find many restaurants and bars as well as a vast array of activities!

Other things to consider

Boat days - While the local team will do their best to schedule you for as many boat days as possible, we cannot guarantee the amount of times each week you will be out at sea. The local team aim to get all volunteers to spend at least 3 days per week on one of the ethical whale watching boats, but this does depend on several factors.

Observing whales and dolphins in Tenerife

I spent 2 weeks in Tenerife observing whales and dolphins in their natural habitat - an amazing experience! I am already planning to return as soon as possible and take part in even more activities there.

Rhion's story

Marine Conservation in Tenerife

In April, I chose to do the Tenerife Dolphin and Whale Conservation programme with TMR because I’m currently on my gap year and I wanted to try something completely different and related to marine conservation.

Phoebe's story