Oceans Research’s Field Research Program


The Oceans Research's Field Research Program enables aspiring scientists and conservationists to work in conjunction with leading marine biologists as they undertake ground-breaking research on the charismatic marine mega-fauna of Southern Africa, including great white sharks.

Oceans Research Institute’s field research program provides a first-hand practical experience in marine research and conservation. Anyone with an interest in marine research, conservation and/or education can benefit. Our program focuses on long-term research projects like the population assessment of white sharks or the habitat use and bio-acoustics of marine mammals. We have projects focused on teaching research skills to our students, like how to use ROVs or drones in marine research and monitoring projects. But we also teach practical skills from what to do when an boat engine won’t start, to how to fish responsibly in order to tag sharks. Furthermore, the ability to apply the research knowledge our students obtain into our various conservation and awareness programs in the local schools, adds to the diversity of skills and experiences. Our program has been recognised by many international universities providing up to a full semester credits for one month with us due to the intensive experience obtained by the students.

Projects & Activities
  • Population assessments & trends of white sharks, humpback & bottlenose dolphins, southern right & humpback whales and Cape fur seals
  • Habitat use of white sharks and marine mammals
  • Population structure, trophic and movement ecology of other shark species
  • Predator-prey behavioural strategies of white sharks and Cape fur seals
  • Shark stress physiology and behavioural studies
  • Intertidal community assessment
  • Surveys of plastic pollution
  • Marine Mammal Stranding Response workshop
  • Science Communication Course
  • Get a SCUBA OWD, AOWD or RD certification included

*Some projects are seasonal


Learning & Skill Sets
  • Seamanship and crew in a research vessel
  • Through both land and sea-based fishing trips, techniques are taught on how to correctly catch & handle sharks, how to tag them, and how data on catch, tag & release can be used to monitor shark populations
  • Learn to deploy and operate Baited Remote Underwater Video (BRUV) equipment, Remote Operated Vehicles (ROV) and drones, to subsequently answer specific research questions through analysis of video data
  • Gain experience in how to best maintain research boats and scientific equipment
Program Structure
  • Arrival 1st of the month – any time
  • 2nd-3rd orientation & safety briefing
  • 4th to month end – program activities
  • Work conducted Monday through Friday
  • Work hours from 7am to 6pm
  • Weekends are left for resting and additional recreational activities
  • Departure 1st of the next month
Program Costs
  • €3, 100 per month (June to August)
  • €2, 500 per month (rest of the year)
Price includes
  • Research fee
  • Dorm-style accommodation
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Local transport
  • Local airport pickup/drop off
  • Internet
Price Excludes
  • Airfare
  • Insurances
  • Laundry
  • Tourism activities
  • Spending money
Additional Information
  • Gain course credit
  • Career development skills
  • Certificate of completion

Informational Videos

Field Research Course quick view
Where we are: Mossel Bay
Planning Your Trip
Flying Info
Travel Arrival
Living, Working, Weekends

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