ShoreFin Volunteers


Initiated in 2014, ShoreFin is our dedicated land-based bottlenose dolphin photo-identification (Photo-ID) project whose aim is to build up an understanding of bottlenose dolphin site usage within the New Quay bay area, to find out which individuals visit New Quay bay and to find out more about the ecology and life history of these animals. We are looking for two volunteers to continue our ShoreFin project throughout the 2017 field season (27th March-30th October).

What You Will Gain:

Volunteering for the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales at CBMWC is a fantastic opportunity for you to make a positive contribution to marine wildlife conservation and meet new people who share your interests. You will learn about the species and habitats in Cardigan Bay, gain experience in field work, wildlife photography, photo ID, data entry, report writing and much more. Past volunteers have gone on to further education, work as Marine Mammal Observers and to work for other conservation or Government organisations.

Overall purpose of the role:

Assist with the delivery of our Living Seas research objectives focused on bottlenose dolphins in Cardigan Bay and the Irish Sea.

 Tasks include (but are not limited to): 

  • Photographing the bottlenose dolphins (and other marine mammals) in New Quay bay
  • Sorting, matching and cataloguing bottlenose dolphin photographs taken from land and boat surveys
  • Analysing data and writing the ShoreFin end of season project report
  • Maintaining up to date procedures for all aspects of CBMWC photo-ID work
  • Assisting with compiling the CBMWC bottlenose dolphin photo-ID catalogue
  • Providing regular updates and images for our Facebook and Twitter feeds
  • Providing information for our dolphin adoption scheme
  • Provide regular project updates to the CBMWC Science Officer
  • You may also be asked to assist with other aspects of our work, such as field surveys, data entry, manning our visitor centre and educational activities.

Important: The previous project volunteers have worked up to 6-8 hours a day 6 days a week, to ensure photographs can be taken during periods of good weather and volunteers gain the most out of the experience. Some training and activities may take place outside of normal office hours. Field work can involve long periods outdoors and in inclement weather, wet weather gear is provided. All volunteers are required to attend training and to contribute to all CBMWC activities, tasks and field work.

Discover more about the volunteer experience from our past volunteers here

We are looking for volunteers with the following skills/qualities:

  • Mature and responsible attitude as you will be using expensive camera and computer equipment
  • Proactive with the ability to work independently and unsupervised
  • Flexible approach to work as you will be required to work outside of normal office hours
  • Previous experience of photo-identification (not necessarily with dolphins)
  • Experience with digital SLR cameras and wildlife photography
  • Ability to work and live closely with others as part of a small team
  • IT skills, including Microsoft Office and GIS
  • Experience of statistical analysis
  • Report writing skills

Desirable Skills

  • An interest and knowledge of British cetaceans
  • A background in biology/marine biology/environmental science

 Volunteering Dates:

The successful applicants must be available to start on 27th March and volunteer for the entire field season until 30th October.

Volunteer fee:

An administration fee of £45 will be required from all successful applicants.

Accommodation Expenses:

Shared accommodation in a comfortable and fully equipped house will be arranged for successful volunteers (where required) at a cost of £55 per week (includes bills) and a £50 refundable deposit. Deposits will be refunded if the accommodation is left in the same condition it was found in. Please be aware that volunteers share same sex bedrooms. Volunteers are responsible for their own food, travel and accommodation costs.

Due to payment arrangements with the house owners, accommodation costs are required in advance to cover the cost of each block so before applying please ensure that you can cover this and all other expenses.

How To apply:

Download a Long Term Volunteer Application Form and email it along with a CV and covering letter (no more than one side of A4) outlining how you meet the personal specification and your motivations for applying to with ‘ShoreFin Volunteer 2017’ in your subject line.

You may also apply for the other long term roles of SeaSeal Volunteer and Research Assistant in the same application form.

Incomplete applications will not be assessed so please make sure you complete the form fully, including availability and be sure to attach your CV and covering letter

The closing date for applications is 23:59pm on Sunday 19th February 2017



2016 ShoreFin Volunteer – Jess


2016 ShoreFin Volunteer – Matt