How did you first get involved with the Blue World Institute?
I heard about the Adriatic Dolphin Project (ADP) from an article in 1996 and I decided that to meet the people who were involved and help with the project. I travelled to Lošinj with some friends, and the people we met were really nice and helpful, they gave us an informative presentation on their work they do and told us more about the project, I was really impressed. However, the main issue was that they were from Italy and at the time I did not speak Italian. I decided to study Marine Biology in Italy as there were no Marine Biology courses available in Croatia. After studying for 5 years, I contacted the team I has previously worked with to find out if there was any possibility of me joining them. When I returned I found that the whole organisation had changed, it had been renamed the Blue World Institute and had a whole new team – predominately English and Croatian, so I no longer needed to speak Italian!
What is a typical day in the life of a volunteer?
The volunteers will join us for 10-11 days and will shadow us on the boats, but before this they will undergo the necessary training so they will be confident in assisting us on board. Whilst at sea, the volunteers will assist us with collecting data and will be involved with every aspect. When the weather is bad and the sea is rough, we will take the volunteers back to the office with us. Here they will be able to help analyse the data collected, attend lectures about our research and topics they may be interested in and will have the opportunity to ask questions.
The volunteers will also have free time to spend exploring Croatia and all that it has to offer. In the evenings the volunteers generally eat and socialise together, many of the volunteers form great relationships and remain in contact even after the programme has ended.