• A group opportunity. Invite your friends.
  • 3 people are interested

Research assistant studying the open Mediterranean ecosystem

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  • A group opportunity. Invite your friends.
  • 3 people are interested

Coming on board Toftevaag is embracing a wondrous adventure in an open, beautiful, but often harsh environment. This ship is no pleasure yatch and expeditions are not organised touristic packages. Volunteers who come on board contribute to ongoing projects by becoming part of a working team, which sometimes entails waking up early, long survey days and some physical exertion.

However, this makes it fully immersive. You effectively become an assistant researcher and deckhand, learn from hands-on experiences, and you leave feeling like you’ve made a direct contribution to marine conservation - which is 100% true because you will have done so.

If you ever wondered what it’s like to do field research at sea, be on the frontline collecting data on wildlife and risks, and making documentary films, get in touch and become involved!


DAY 1 "Hello Toftevaag!": A meeting point will be agreed upon, generally around 17:00 at a restaurant or café in the harbour where we will wait for everyone else to arrive. Part of the crew will be present and will take you to the ship where you will be assigned your bed and store your luggage. During this afternoon you will familiarise yourself with Toftevaag, meet all the crew, listen to the introduction to the expedition, and get a safety briefing from the captain.

DAY 2-10 "Monitoring the Open Sea": If conditions are adequate, the engines may start as early as 4:00 AM to ensure we are out in deep waters by sunrise (this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to be up for this, but you are welcome to experience this night voyage if you wish). The day officially begins at around 7:00 AM for breakfast when the survey also begins. Those on watch will be expected to be awake and in their positions on time. Mainly during the first day, the crew will guide you through the tasks you need to accomplish while on board and help with anything needed.

DAY 11 "Disembarking day": Today you leave Toftevaag, although we welcome mutineers! Departure times must be communicated to ensure we are back in harbour on time in order to meet everyone’s travel arrangements. Even though this is a farewell, from this day forward you are a Friend of Toftevaag and we hope you stay in touch... or even join us again! No two expeditions are the same, and some volunteers have made a Toftevaag expedition part of their yearly plans!

More opportunities with ALNITAK

No additional volunteer opportunities at this time.



Calle Nalon 16, Hoyo de Manzanares, Madrid 24840, ES

Mission Statement

"To develop research and education programmes for the conservation of our maritime natural and cultural treasures"


Alnitak is a grassroots organisation founded by two young Greenpeace activists. The idea was conceived in the port of Mahón (Menorca) while on board the ship Sirius. A ship bell with the name "Alnitak" was purchased in December of 1988, and in March of 1989 the ship Toftevaag was obtained for restoration.

Today, Alnitak has a combination of rich experience and fresh energy, with co-founder Ricardo Sagarminaga at the head of a fantastic team of like-minded individuals from a surprising variety of backgrounds.

We subdivide our work into two large programmes: MEDTOP - scientific projects using top pelagics as umbrella species for the conservation of the open sea ecosystem, and TODOS POR LA MAR - engaging stakeholders and the general public in practical and tangible conservation.

Alnitak partners with top institutes such as the US Fish and Wildlife Service, NOAA, the Balearic Islands Coastal Observing and Forecasting System (SOCIB), OceanCare, Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO), IFREMER, Exeter University and more.

Each year 11-day expeditions are conducted, and a limited number of bunks are made available for volunteers to live and work on board as research assistant and deck hands.

Sports & Recreation


We'll work with your schedule.


Carrer del MollPalma de Mallorca, Balearic Islands Spain



  • Habitat Restoration
  • Environmental Education
  • Environmental Science
  • Research
  • Outdoor Recreation
  • Water Recreation


  • Kids
  • Teens
  • People 55+
  • Group


  • Must be at least 18
  • 11 days
  • Most volunteers are able to embark, and we have had volunteers aged 80+. However, prepare for long days at sea. These expeditions are no pleasure cruise, and there is a “rough and tough” aspect when living on Toftevaag.

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