VOLUNTEER information


Video filmed and edited by Sarah Dauphinee. Drone footage by Michael Scholl. 

The Shark Lab is looking for highly motivated, hard-working people with a desire to work and gain experience with marine fauna and flora. Volunteers are integrated into all aspects of the station's workload. – alongside tagging and measuring sharks, they are expected to assist with fixing equipment, cleaning the facilities, and cooking dinner. We believe that volunteering at the station is a life-changing experience that not only develops scientists but also helps to create well-rounded people, with a drive and passion to succeed in whatever path they choose to follow!

Note that all volunteers must leave the lab on December 15th, as we close for the holidays. Any long term volunteers can take this vacation time at home or elsewhere, and return to the lab on January 5th.

At BBFS we are seeking general interns who can collect data for our PhD student’s projects (see current research), assist with long term study data collection, and aid in the daily running of the station. Internships range in length, with approximately two months being the minimum stay. BBFSF recommends volunteers consider a four month internship, to make the most of this opportunity, as well as to maximize their skill development.


Interns can apply to stay for as long of a duration as they would like, as long as they are able to arrive/depart on the specific start dates mentioned below. We are not in a position to be flexible with these dates due to our research schedule, bed availability, and chartered air service to bring over supplies.

There are specific dates available for interns to start and end their volunteer placement, stated below:

project studentships

We offer Project Studentships biannually, typically running 5 January - 20 June, or 20 June - 15 December. There may be the opportunity to extend your stay at the lab, but we require a minimum of six months commitment. At this time, our placements are full until January 2021. Project Student positions are released approximately six months ahead of the start date, with a specific project in mind. Potential students do not have to be associated with a university programme to be considered, however this opportunity is ideal for Masters candidates with the end goal of publishing a scientific paper. Note that the Shark Lab is not an institute with degree giving powers, and as such Masters students have to be enrolled in a programme with a university prior to arrival.


Throughout this studentship you will conduct your own research that will bolster the work of our Principal Investigators. Alongside the research, you will be asked to lead fieldwork activities with other volunteers, and help with the day-to-day running of the station - partaking in the capture and care of sharks, fishing, data entry, maintenance of field equipment, cooking and preparation of lab meals, and cleaning of the facilities.  


Project student fees are typically $1500/month, but the cost per month will be confirmed prior to arrival in Bimini based on the needs of your project. Unfortunately the Shark Lab is not able to offer funded studentships at this time, and all fees must be covered by yourself or your university. The fees we request cover the cost of room and board, your field equipment and vessel use, and contribute towards BBFSF research.

what to bring

As you will be travelling to Bimini using a charter company, there are tight restrictions on luggage allowance.

All luggage should be packed into a soft suitcase for easy stowing on the aircraft.


What you need:

1. Passport – This includes US citizens! 

2. Soft suitcase for easy stowing in the aircraft and at the station

3. Sun block lotion

4. Insect repellent and baby oil (for mosquitoes and sand flies)

5. Hat and polarized sunglasses (reduces glare and protects your eyes from UV)

6. Foul weather gear:  rain pants and jacket

7. Snorkel gear: mask, fins, snorkel, and booties are a must! (No scuba gear is required)

8. Wet suit (full 3+mm for spring/fall months; 5mm for winter months)

10. At least two-three bathing suits

11. Long-sleeve rash guards (for UV protection)

12. Clothes that can get wet or ruined:  T-shirts, shorts, and long pants.

13. Any special foods or medications (enough for duration of stay)

14. At least one headlamp (mandatory) – with necessary batteries

16. Basic, waterproof watch with timer (does not need to be a dive watch)

17. Spending money for personal expenses (US dollars accepted in Bimini)

18. Spare batteries for headlamps, cameras, etc. The station’s battery supply is for science equipment only. 

19. Water bottle 

20. Thermos for hot drinks during cold weather and night gillnetting (winter months and May/June)


Also recommended (but not necessarily essential):

1. Dry bag (highly recommended as proves very useful in the field)

2. Waterproof camera

3. Full length quick drying leggings
2. Music players and waterproof speakers
3. Jump/zip drives
4. Laptop or tablet for wireless internet use
5. Mosquito jacket and bug spray

6. Waterproof flashlight (optional but convenient)

7. Nice outfit for nights off

8. Beach towel (bath towels and bed linens are provided)

9. Electrolyte powder

10. Crocs - these are the only acceptable type of indoor shoes


Our monthly volunteer fee of $950 USD, is all-inclusive of volunteer activities, boat rental, meals, accommodation, and use of equipment for the duration of your stay. This cost works out as $30/day – not a bad deal for food and accommodation, especially compared to Bimini prices. Please note that the volunteer fees make up less than a third of the total running cost of the Station annually. The Shark Lab is not yet in a position where we can offer internships at a lower cost. All funds go directly into ensuring the research can go ahead - we appreciate your understanding on this matter.


The $950 is a monthly rate (typically running from 15th to the 15th), and any additional days outside this, will be charged at a daily rate. For example, if your internship dates are 15 April – 20 June, this would be calculated as two months and four days.


On top of internship fees, we require an additional payment of $450 USD to cover your round trip flight from Fort Lauderdale – Bimini.  This flight is organized entirely by BBFSF specific to your internship dates. Please see FAQ for further details.


On acceptance of the internship, you will be sent clear instructions by the Station Admin. All invoices are sent via Quickbooks. If you are paying through a bank of the United States, you can easily pay the fees via bank transfer. International payments are transferred through a “wire transfer” that must be made through your local bank. Payments can be made via instalments, or in one full payment.


Volunteer Fee - Fees cover accommodation at the Station, three meals a day and a small donation to the research - $950/Monthly

Project STUDENT Fee – Typically $1500/Monthly but TBD depending on requirements.

Airfare - 40lbs cabin luggage allowance - $450 round trip

Please note: Payments via an International Bank may incur an additional $15 fee to enable wire transfers.


These fees do not include your insurance costs.


USD and BSD are of equal value and are used interchangeably in the Bahamas. Please allow for additional spending money to cover optional outside expenses such as: Shark Lab t-shirts, meals out, snacks, drinks, souvenirs etc. Most snacks are 3 x as expensive as the US due to importation fees and taxes, so keep this in mind.

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