Skip to Content

Bycatch Research Internship

The objective of the internship is to gather historical seabird and sea turtle bycatch data from the region through a literature review.

Application deadline
Friday, 15. October 2021 – 23:45

Dakar, West Africa

6 months


BirdLife International Africa is a Partnership of 22 national conservation organisations and a leader in bird conservation. Our unique local to global approach enables us to deliver high impact and long term conservation for the benefit of nature and people. BirdLife Dakar office is one of the six regional Secretariats that compose BirdLife International, the global authority on the status of bird species. Based in Dakar, it supports the African Partnership and is present in 22 countries in Africa. 

In November 2017, BirdLife International and its partners launched, with the support of the MAVA Foundation, a project entitled ‘’Minimising bycatch of seabirds and sea turtles in West African industrial fisheries’’ with the aim to establish and implement an operational framework for minimising bycatch of seabirds and sea turtles in West African industrial fisheries, by 2022.    

The project covers the seven Members countries of the Sub-regional Fisheries Commission – SRFC including Mauritania, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Cabo Verde, Senegal, The Gambia, and Sierra Leone.     

To achieve its goal, the project is articulated under 5 key strategies:

  1. Research and scientific capacity to improve the scientific knowledge base – vital for future informed decisions and subsequent actions – as well as building research capacity in West Africa;
  2. Observer programme to strengthen the regional observer programmes network for bycatch data collection, which is essential to feed into Strategy 1, as well as informing policy and building awareness;
  3. Advocacy for legislation and mitigation measures focusing on two key areas – strengthening legislation and trailing mitigation measures. Alongside these measures, advocacy efforts to advance bycatch legislation and regulations through guidelines and regional plans will encourage governments and fisheries operators to take bycatch mitigation issues onboard, including international recommendations through regional fisheries management organizations;
  4. Awareness and public outreach will aim to build wide awareness about bycatch, especially among the industrial fleets and fisheries sectors; and
  5. Sustainability & partnership focuses on putting measures in place for the long-term coordination and fundraising for minimising bycatch in West Africa into the future.  

Overall purpose of the internship 

The selected intern will work the West Africa Bycatch team, providing support on a range of tasks with a focus on research. 


  • Conduct desk research to gather any relevant data (including grey literature) on seabird and sea turtle bycatch in West Africa from available reports (fisheries research institutes, fisheries Commissions such as ICCAT, external observer programmes, fishing industry, etc). 
  • Prepare summaries and analysis, to serve as input for estimating the seabird and sea turtle bycatch rate in the SRFC region.
  • Submit a comprehensive report of the findings.o Any other tasks required from the Bycatch Team in relation to data mining and bycatch of seabirds and sea turtles in the region. 

Objective and learning 

The objective of the internship is to gather historical seabird and sea turtle bycatch data from the region through a literature review. In this process, the intern will gain knowledge of the functioning of one of the largest non-governmental organization in the world BirdLife International, the substantive and operational aspects of our work, as well as the West Africa industrial fisheries framework. More specifically, the intern will gain experience in: 

  • The life-history and ecology of seabirds and sea turtles;
  • Fisheries operating in the West Africa region;
  • Bycatch issues including mitigation techniques, impacts on marine life, the legal framework both in the region and internationally;
  • Fishing operations by national and Distant Water Fleet framework in West Africa; 


  • A minimum degree (BSc), in any appropriate discipline related to natural science, natural resource management, and with interest on fisheries and/or marine megafauna. 
  • Experience in undertaking desk studies or literature reviews.o Good command written and oral English and French languages.
  • Knowledge of other languages of the countries in the region is an advantage (i.e. Portuguese).  

Personal and social skills: 

  • Good computer skills including the use of internet and Microsoft office
  • Experience in the non-profit or international development sector is a plus;
  • Demonstrates initiative and ability to work independently and as a member of a team to meet program needs.
  • Highly committed and willing to learn.  


This internship is opened to any nationality. However, candidates from West Africa are strongly encouraged to apply.  

Expected stipend 

During his internship period, the intern will receive a monthly stipend of 500 euros per month.  


This internship is for a period of 6 months. It is anticipated that it will run from October 2021 to March 2022. 

How to apply: If you are interested in applying for the internship, please submit (in English): 

  • A letter stating why you would like to join the team and how this opportunity will foster your professional growth;
  • Curriculum Vitae. 

The application should be submitted by e-mail to: [email protected] 

Only applications with a maximum of two pages Curriculum Vitae, and a one page personal letter will be considered. Please include in your email subject: Bycatch Project Intern-Dakar office 

Apply now

  • Accepted file types: pdf, png, jpg, jpeg, doc, docx, Max. file size: 10 MB.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.