How to spot Marine Creatures
As promised, we reveal the secrets of how to spot marine creatures.
We all wonder how our dive guides are able to spot animals so small, well camouflaged or too far away. Sometimes we couldn’t even see them after he/she showed them to us.
Dive guides don’t have special masks or a hidden lens … they have concentration, knowledge and experience!
If you want to become a good spotter, make the most out of your diving experiences and have the best chance of spotting your bucket-list creatures – below are few tips that will definitely help you!
1. DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Get to know a specie’s characteristics such as their size and colour.
Find out their preferred habitat; do they prefer corals, sand or to swim in mid-water? A fish identification book or app will be a useful tool.
Do they use camouflage as a technique to ambush prey or to hide from other predators? Have they developed a symbiotic relationship with other species such as the groupers and moray eels? In other words, if you see one species then have a look around for the other. With experience you will also recognize how they move – it is easier to spot an animal while it is on the move, especially if it has a good camouflage.
2. CONTROL YOUR BUOYANCY AND DIVE SLOWLY
The slower you dive, the better the chances of finding anything. It is also ideal to complete a Specialty Course like Peak Performance Buoyancy course to be able to hover in various positions. Getting low and hovering upside down can be very useful when checking inside small cracks and crevices.
3. GET TO KNOW THE DIVE SITES OR ASK A LOCAL
There is no harm in asking. Simply head to a local dive shop and get a briefing of the dive sites beforehand. This way, you will know which marine life lives in that specific area. Find out where the ‘secret’ locations are situated, how long it will take to get to them and check whether you have to look in a specific area.
Here is an example: the porcelain crab lives in the carpet anemone. Carpet anemones live in symbiosis with clown fish, mainly the Clark’s Anemone fish species. The female leader protects the family and hovers above the surrounding corals, making it easy for us to spot her. Go slow over the reef, find the female Clark’s anemone fish and have a look for the possibility of finding a porcelain crab.
Scuba Diving is just like a treasure hunt. Work with the clues and you shall find what you’re looking for.
We hope we have motivated you on your dive homework and hopefully now you are better equipped with the knowledge of how to spot marine creatures. See you next time with a new exiting lesson on “Underwater communication”.