Divemaster Trainee – Fish Identification
Our PADI Divemaster course here at Blue Season Bali is quite a busy one. Students choosing the 1 month option are primarily improving their dive skills, theory, and guiding skills. Students with a bit more time in a 2 or 4 month programme have more time to spend developing other skills such as night diving, underwater navigation and fish identification. However, we believe that all our interns should improve their knowledge of the marine environment.
That is why we have created some extra fish ID slates for all our Divemaster intern dive trips. Being a good Divemaster also means that you know a bit about the environment you are diving in. Just imagine: a superb dive – safe and enjoyable, you had great control and pointed some cool and weird stuff. But now, your divers are curious. What was that school of small little forked-tail fish, or that one that was hidden amongst the coral rubble and not moving… Oops…
Identifying fish is not difficult. Well, you can make it as difficult as you want. We focus on fish groupings rather than the scientific names – for the moment. Small features such as fin or body shape, pattern, colours, and tail help you to identify different species. But also think about where you saw the fish – in the sand, coral, out in the blue? What was it doing? Hunting, feeding, or hidden under a rock? Ideally you would visualise those characteristics in a quick drawing on your underwater slate. Identifying the fish once back on the boat should be easy now!
To demonstrate the students’ ability to find and identify marine life, our Internship Manager has created “Guiding Ninja Belts”. The more cool stuff you find, the higher you are on the hierarchy. Starting with the White Belt, you’d only have to find ‘easy’ ones like butterflyfish and surgeonfish. Next is the Salmon Belt, with triggerfish and groupers. The Green Belt, with a stingray and a cushion star; and at the top, the highest level of spotting marine life (the Champions League of guiding workshops): the Gold Ninja Belt. Find a mola mola, ghost pipefish, or even a pygmy seahorse. I’m curious which belt you are at the moment. Join us for your Divemaster Internship at Blue Season to find out yourself!