Enjoy dives even more when you can recognize and identify fish families and their characteristics. Description “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. Academic 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 Get credit! The first dive of this PADI Specialty Diver course may credit as an Adventure Dive toward your Advanced Open Water Diver certification – ask your instructor about earning credit. Equipment 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. Getting Started Stop by your local dive shop, to enroll in the course. Check out the marine species reference library at ScubaEarth®. Advertisement More Courses Continuing Education Advanced Rebreather Diver Dive in silence and train to dive as deep as 40 metres/130 feet. Learn about scrubbers, oxygen consumption and bailout requirements including how to configure a bailout cylinder system. Continuing Education Altitude Diver Diving in altitudes higher than 300 metres/1000 feet above sea level is altitude diving. Discover a hidden world where only a few have ventured. Continuing Education AWARE Shark Conservation Sharks are an essential part of a healthy ocean. This course explores why they are vulnerable, the importance of a healthy shark population, managing threats and how to take action to protect them. Continuing Education Boat Diver This course helps you expand your knowledge about boats from small inflatables to large liveaboards. You'll gain experience scuba diving by completing two dives from a boat. Continuing Education Cavern Diver Gain the knowledge and skills to explore caverns correctly and safely. This course guides you to enter far enough for adventure, but stay within the light zone for an easy exit to open water. Continuing Education Coral Reef Conservation This course helps you appreciate the complexity of coral reef habitats and teaches how you can help conserve these vital systems.