Blue World Institute

Blue World Institute's picture

Join our research programs as an eco-volunteer and experience life of a marine biologist, studying life of bottlenose dolphins in the Adriatic Sea.

The Blue World Institute of Marine Research and Conservation through its three programmes - scientific, education and conservation - carries out several projects aimed at recording data about the life of endangered marine organisms. Research focuses on large marine vertebrates with an aim to contribute to the protection and conservation of the marine environment through public awareness and education. Through this we try to support sustainable development of local, insular communities through cooperation and an interdisciplinary approach to conservation.

You can join our research projects as an eco-volunteer. Please, see "Types of programes" below for more information.

Our projects are:

The Adriatic Dolphin Project, with field stations on the islands of Lošinj and Vis

The aim of this project is research of population ecology, genetics, acoustics and habitats of bottlenose dolphins and other Cetacean species of the Adriatic and conservation biology and their population and habitat modelling. ADP, since its start, has been one of the examples of best practice of successful integration of scientific research with practical conservation of one endangered species and its habitat.


The Lošinj Marine Education Centre, Veli Lošinj

In 2003 Blue World opened the first marine education centre on the eastern Adriatic coast. In the centre there are permanent and temporary exhibitions and interactive multimedia presentations. In addition the centre hosts workshops and lectures for the education of visitors and different interest and age groups. The programme is being continuously updated and changed, and has been approved by Croatian Education and Teacher Training Agency.    

The Cres-Lošinj Marine Protected Area

The most significant project of the conservation programme has been the involvement of Blue World in the development of the Cres-Lošinj MPA, the first such area for dolphins in the entire Mediterranean. Blue World supports permanent protection of this area through support of the process of transparent public participation and establishment for the local protected area management institution.


The Adriatic Marine Turtle Project

Research on the biology and ecology of marine turtles in the Adriatic sea in cooperation with Croatian Natural History Museum from Zagreb. This includes tagging and satellite tracking and rehabilitation of injured animals. This project also works closely with the Pula Aquarium.

Volunteering at ADP Lošinj

Take part in Adriatic Dolphin Project and spend two weeks in Veli Lošinj, Croatia, helping out in research of bottlenose dolphins.The Adriatic Dolphin Project offers you the opportunity to join our research as eco-volunteers. This is a unique opportunity to experience an encounter with dolphins in their natural surroundings. Eco-volunteers spend twelve days at our base in Veli Lošinj and actively participate in our daily routines. This includes collecting data at sea, preparing equipment and boats, data entry, preliminary analysis of collected data, and preparing presentations etc. The Eco-volunteers reside in the fieldbase with researchers and students and are expected to help with everyday practical tasks such as cooking and household maintenance. This leads to everyday open discussions on topics of marine biology and conservation.


Volunteering at ADP North Dalmatia

In 2013 Blue World Institute of Marine Research and Conservation has started a new research project in the waters of North Dalmatia in Croatia. This project also offers an opportunity for eco-volunteers to join the research team and contribute to our efforts to better understand the status of the bottlenose dolphins in the Adriatic Sea and help protect them. This study is boat based, meaning the eco-volunteers spend 10 days together with the research team, living and working on a 14m wooden, 2-mast kutter.

ADP Lošinj - Veli Lošinj, Island of Lošinj, Croatia

ADP North Dalmatia - Murter, Island of Murter, Croatia

ADP Lošinj

You will be hosted in Veli Lošinj. The house provides bedrooms for researchers, one for interns and
one for volunteers, two bathrooms, kitchen, lounge, and a terrace. A single room is not available.
Beds, sheets and blankets are provided. The daily household  duties include shopping, cooking, dish
washing and general housekeeping. Everybody at the project is expected to do his or her share in
the household. Two persons a day in turn will be in charge of the cooking, cleaning and washing
dishes. Both participants and researchers alternate in housekeeping and cooking shifts. The project
is also advertised in other countries, so it is very possible that your colleagues are from different
European countries or even further.


ADP North Dalmatia

The MB Anika is used as a mobile field station, providing living facilities and logistics. The team and eco-volunteers live on this boat during the 10 days trips. The boat is a 14 meters long, two-mast, wooden kutter, built in 1934 in Germany. It went through complete reconstruction in 2000 in order to make it sea worthy for years to come, but the look and feel of an old-timer were retained. All the basic living facilities are provided: two cabins, kitchen/dining room, toilette with shower and lots of storage space for the equipment. The cabin for the eco-volunteers is spacious and has two beds (bed sheets are provided), a table, cupboard and shelves for storing clothes and other personal items. If you decide to join us, you will be sharing this cabin with one more eco-volunteer. The smaller cabin in the front of the boat is for the research team. The kitchen is equipped with a cooker, oven, refrigerator and sink – everything needed for preparing delicious meals. Dining room or cabins can also be used as working space for data analysis and other computer work. The toilette with shower is on the deck and is shared by everybody on the boat. Warm water is provided via sun-heated shower during sunny days.

The boat is equipped with all the safety gear, GPS plotter, solar panels for charging main batteries and 12V/24V power outlets. 220V power outlets are available during stay in harbours when the boat is connected to the main power network. While at sea, 220V power supply is limited to only a few hours due to capacity of batteries (still enough to recharge a phone or camera). High-speed internet is not available, but mobile, low-speed internet connection will be available for checking e-mails and normal web browsing (no Youtube or any heavy downloads).

The boat deck provides plenty of room for resting and sunbathing. There is also sunshade for the days when the sun is too strong. When the weather conditions are favourable sails can be used which offers great experience of navigation in the absence of the engine sound and opportunity to learn sailing technique.

ADP Lošinj

Stage 1:     5 May - 16 May

Stage 2:     19 May - 20 May

Stage 3:     2 June - 13 June

Stage 4:     16 June - 27 June

Stage 5:     30 June - 11 July

Stage 6:     14 July - 25 July

Stage 7:     28 July - 8 August

Stage 8:     11 August - 22 August

Stage 9:     25 August - 5 September

Stage 10:     8 September - 19 September

Stage 11:     22 September - 3 October


ADP North Dalmatia

Stage1:     4 June - 13 June

Stage 2:     18 June - 27 June

Stage 3:     2 July - 11 July

Stage 4:     16 July - 25 July

Stage 5:     30 July - 8 August

Stage 6:     13 August - 22 August

Stage 7:     27 August - 5 September

Program Requirements

  • 18 and older
  • Good health
    • No sea sickness
    • Speak english
    • Steady on the legs and able to swimm
Types of Programs:
Organization Type:
NGO (Non-Governmental Organization)