“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 AWARE – 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.
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.
You will need to complete two open water dives to complete this specialty.
PADI (Junior) Open Water Divers who are at least 10 years old are eligible to take the Underwater Naturalist Specialty course.