Know Your Neighbors

PADI Project AWARE Fish Identification

Have you ever been scuba diving and asked yourself, "What is that?” Our PADI Project AWARE Fish Identification Specialty course provides you with the fish identification basics so that next time, you'll know the answer.


Harlequin Shrimp

The Fun Part

You’ll find you enjoy your dives even more when you recognize the creatures you see. The fun part about this course is you can use these new skills on every scuba diving vacation because once you learn the main fish families and characteristics it will help you decipher the species you see all over the world.

For example, a butterfly fish in the Caribbean has a similar shape to a butterfly fish in Southeast Asia, but their colors and markings maybe wildly different. If you know what fish family it belongs to, it becomes much easier to look up the local name or at least be able to intelligently ask the local scuba instructor what you saw. That works better than asking about a “yellow fish with a funny tail fin.”

What You Learn
jelly fish

During two dives you gain hands-on (okay, eyes-on) experience in looking for and identifying the fascinating fish you may see on your dives.

You’ll learn :

  • How to identify characteristics of local fish families and species.
  • Fish survey techniques and strategies.
  • How to practice fish identification dive planning, organization and procedures.

This certification includes: 2 Open Water dives. 


Please Be Aware


Although any certified diver may take this course, it is offered ONLY on one of our COLUMBIA SCUBA-sponsored dive trips where varied fish identification is available - overseas destinations or local when possible.



What You Need:


GEAR:   Full scuba package appropriate for the water temperature of the diving environment.  Students also need a slate & pencil for sketching and other notations of fish on the OW dives.

MATERIALS:  Advanced Open Water Manual  - Chapter on Fish ID.

For all your learning materials and equipment, and registration contact us today.

PREREQUISITES:  Must be Open Water Certified.

What's Next

The Underwater Photography specialty is a great way to brush up on your underwater photography skills so that you can document and capture images of the species you’re encountering.  And, PADI National Geographic Diver Certification is also a wonderful next step where you can work on a conservation project as part of the certification.  Ask your instructor for more info.


For more information, available course dates and registration -- contact us and discuss options with one of our Team Members.