Enjoy dives even more when you can recognize and identify fish families and their characteristics.
“What was that fish?” is a common question heard after a dive. If you want to be the scuba diver with the answers, instead of the one asking the questions, then take the Fish Identification Specialty course. You’ll enjoy your dives even more when you recognize the creatures that you see and can identify the main fish families and their characteristics.
If you’re at least 10 years old and a PADI (Junior) Open Water Diver or higher, you can enroll in the AWARE – Fish Identification course.
Once you learn to recognize what types of fish you see, you’ll find it easier to reference the exact species after a scuba dive. For example, a butterfly fish in the Caribbean has a similar shape to a butterfly fish in Southeast Asia, but colors and markings may be wildly different. If you know what fish family it belongs to, you can more easily look up the local name or at least be able to intelligently ask the local scuba instructor what you saw.
During two scuba dives, you’ll learn:
How to identify characteristics of local fish families and species.
Fish survey techniques and strategies.
About Project AWARE activities that can help protect aquatic life
Beyond using basic scuba equipment, you’ll want a slate to record what you see and a fish identification card if available for your area. Your PADI Instructor and local dive center or resort staff may suggest additional equipment or references depending on what you’re likely to see on your dives.