When you go for your favorite sport of diving or snorkeling, be aware of the wild nature surrounding you, do not try to influence it or threaten little creatures. Governments of many countries with diving sites put a lot of efforts into preserving nature as it is, to keep it balanced. Some diving organizations are responsible for this task, for example, AWARE (stands for Aquatic World Awareness, Responsibility and Education) and REEF (acronym for Reef Environmental Education Foundation).
These organizations do not only prevent harm but also help to collect necessary data for best scientific understanding of the underwater world, and supply scientists with information of the state of underwater ecosystems. Let us make a little review of what you should know about fish identification strategies in a dive for better understanding and possible help you could provide to the world.
There are 21 thousand of sea and ocean species that are classified in the modern sea catalogues, four thousands of them inhabit reefs, especially coral reefs. Frankly speaking, hardly any ichthyologist knows all of them, or even major part of them, to say nothing of a neophyte in this underwater science.
But when you know a little about general qualities of each of twelve groups of fish families, your task becomes much simpler. After some time you could differentiate butterflyfish and angelfish, jacks and barracuda, snappers and grunts, damselfish and chromis, groupers and seabass, parrotfish and wrasse, squirrelfish and bigeyes, blennies and gobies, floundersand scorpionfish, filefish and triggerfish, eels and sharks. All of these families have some general characteristics that any experienced diver should know.
Be careful and attentive at the time of diving. Take all of your diving gear with you, and do not forget about such things as a diving knife. If you want to keep best memories of what you have seen, take a digital underwater camera with you.