PADI AWARE Fish Identification Specialty

PADI AWARE Fish Identification Specialty

PADI AWARE Fish Identification Specialty

What was that fish? It’s a common question heard after a dive. If you want to be the scuba diver with the answers then take the PADI AWARE – Fish Identification Specialty course. You’ll enjoy your dives even more when you recognise the creatures that you see and can identify the main fish families and their characteristics.

Watching the reef fish, their behaviours and interactions are always fascinating. Once you learn to recognise what types of fish you see, you’ll find it easier to reference the exact species after a scuba dive.

A butterfly fish in the Caribbean has a similar shape to a butterfly fish in Southeast Asia, but colours 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.

Following some ‘self study’ you’ll complete at home, you’ll meet the NHDC team to review your theory before getting on with the fun bits!

During two scuba dives, you’ll get to look for a range of species while you 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

Standard Course: £149

Executive Option: additional £50 on Basic, Standard or Deluxe Course fee.

Elite Option: We’ll come to you! For an additional £100 on the Standard Course fee we’ll complete the training at your own facilities.


Min Age: 10 years old

Medically Fit: Complete this Medical Statement and have a GP countersign it if required.

Ability: You will need to be Open Water Diver (or Junior Open Water Diver) certified (or equivalent) to enrol.

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Knowledge Development 

As part of the PADI AWARE Fish Identification Specialty Course, you’ll complete some Knowledge Development before the fun bits. This will be reviewed with your instructor before putting the theory into practice during two open water dives.

The theory side can be completed at you own pace before being reviewed. Currently only available as a physical manual, this can be collected from the NHDC Dive Centre.



Open Water Dives

You’ll complete two open water dives, usually completed within a single day.  You’ll get chance to observe the aquatic environment looking out for a range of marine species while you dive.

You will be able to record what you see, identifying the creatures as you go, or tapping into local resources to identify them afterwards.

We’ll provide everything you need. We pride ourselves on ensuring there are no hidden costs.

We will provide all the basic, as well as any specialised, equipment for diving while perfecting your buoyancy control. Comfort is everything in scuba diving, therefore if you already have your own equipment, we’d encourage you to bring it along to keep you warm and comfortable while you observe, monitor and identify the marine life around you!

Knowledge Development can be completed at your own pace but will be reviewed with the NHDC team before certification.

Open Water dives are usually completed over a day, with courses arranged on a regular basis.

While this course can be completed at one of our usual inland sites, the PADI AWARE Fish Identification Specialty course is best completed on one of our trips, where you can really interact with a range of species.

New Horizons aims to be flexible with arranging courses to suit your schedule so please give us a call to discuss suitable alternatives.

 On all of our PADI AWARE Fish Identification Specialty course options you will receive…

  • Coaching and on-going support from an experienced, passionate and professional PADI Instructor
  • 1 hour (minimum) Knowledge Review
  • 1.5 hours (minimum) Skills Development (open water dives)
  • FREE rental of all required equipment (including, but not limited to: cylinders & air fills, dive computer, fins, mask, snorkel, drysuit & undersuit, specialist equipment [e.g. fish ID slates or books])
  • Course materials
  • PADI Certification

For dives completed in UK water, we recommend you use a drysuit and undersuit for greater comfort. If you have no previous drysuit experience, we will arrange a pool based orientation session for an additional £40 before your Open Water dives so you are fully prepared and confident to jump in.

Please note, our course fees covers equipment rental, PADI Certification fees etc, but do not cover entry fees to open water dive sites or for dive trips. These vary according to location; please ask for further details.


Standard course

All of the above.

Knowledge Development 

Completed in your own time, this can be started at any time and completed at your own pace. Choose from using a physical manual or electronic versions compatible with tablet devices & smart phones (Touch).

Electronic versions can be issued via email whereas physical course manuals can be collected from the NHDC Dive Centre.

An initial £75 deposit will ensure course materials can be issued, allowing you to start as soon as you want!

What ever option you choose, the NHDC team will be on hand to help you through and answer any questions as you progress. We will then meet you before the open water dives to review things and allow you to ask any questions you may have.


Open Water Dives 

Observing marine life in their natural environment can be spectacular. You will pick up on behaviours and characteristics that can be used to help identify a range of species.

During the PADI AWARE Fish identification Specialty your instructor will help you develop your observation skills. You will complete two dives, usually over a single day, with your NHDC PADI Instructor. During these dives you’ll learn about:

  • 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


Standard Course

Complete the PADI AWARE fish Identification Specialty course using the materials of your choice and one of our standard schedules.


Executive Option

While ideally suited to being completed on one of our trips, this Specialty can also be completed at one of our preferred inland sites. Our standard schedules are designed to offer flexibility. However, if these aren’t convenient, or if you feel you’d benefit from the more personal touch, we can tailor our schedules to a more bespoke timetable.

This executive option allows a 1:1 program, giving you the chance to work with a member of the NHDC team to become a master of scuba diving.


Elite Option

If you have access to your own facilities, we can come to you! We will work with you to make a truly tailor-made course schedule. Use the course materials of your choice and when you’re ready, we’ll complete the Skills Development at your own facilities. Choose to join us at our usual open water dive sites, or let us escort you overseas. There’s a whole world of possibilities.


Trip Completion

This course can be conducted and completed on one of our trips. Please get in touch with the team to discuss this option and applicable discounts.


Payment Plans

A single £75 deposit will allow us to issue the relevant course materials.

Further installment payments can be made with the final balance paid before the open water dives. Talk to us about installment payment options.

Let us know you want to join us! Simply send us a Course Booking Form and completed Medical Statement. Once we’ve received your deposit we’ll issue your course materials, so you can get started straight away!

Get in touch for our bank account details or to make payment over the phone.

Your place will be confirmed on receipt of the Course Medical Statement (Countersigned by a GP if required). Please note, we will not be able to start any in water activities without one!