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Fish List (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
I used to be an angler and a diver and have a fish list exceeding 500 species, I guess as I used to dive Egypt and the Maldives. There are certainly a few people out there who know their fish (Helmut Debelius is a famous underwater photographer who's written dozens of field guides), but most divers just like to enjoy what they see. Certain species are thought after, but not to the extent that birds are.
I used to keep fish lists, but haven't seen anything new in ages, so don't bother very much anymore.
My experience is that quite a lot is identifiable even from shore, but you'll only find the standard species. There's definitely no twitching or listing community but observation.org or inaturalist should be able to keep lists for you.
Furthermore, knowledge about fish species is VERY rudimentary among most people, so that every Roach gets identified as Rudd


Well-known member
Fish watching can be exciting in the extreme. Amongst the many dramatic moments that come to mind observed from the many days I've spent at sea include flying fish being driven out of the water by leaping yellowfin tuna, with frigate birds diving after the same prey; giant bluefin tuna feeding on the surface in the Canary Islands and northwest Ireland; and dozens of sailfish free-jumping near one of the islands south of Phuket in Thailand. Moments like these, especially the latter two, are amongst my Rutger Hauer moments ("I've seen things you people wouldn't believe").

You don't need to be a diver to see fish - much of this (fabulous) footage was shot above water. It's worth noting, though, that the challenge of finding this sort of activity and then getting good views of it can be considerable.


rabid twitcher
Czech Republic
So we have taken this idea somewhat seriously :) The truth is, we have no clue about IDing fish at all, so we just went through our photos and dumped everything to iNat, but I was surprised how much fish we actually have. Well, the biggest contribution to that was surely the visit to the Underwater Observatory in Eilat ... but there is quite a few Mudskippers to be seen around the world for example. The number of species on the list will only become clear when more IDs come in.

iNat search for our fish

The funniest is when we found out that a fish seen in Argentina is European Carp - I mean we come from the world capital of Carp farming, but never really saw any outside of a tank ...

edit: ah, they have the new system they promised working - so https://www.inaturalist.org/lifelists/opisska?taxon_id=47178 - it tells me I have 31 species so far (it works in the "reasonable" way, so if something is IDed only to family, it counts the family just once for all such observations and so on).
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Well-known member
United States
I keep a fish list, but never having been to the ocean and the fact that I cannot swim means it isn't very long. My favorite species I've seen is Lake Sturgeon.

Jay C

United Kingdom
On the bottom of my bird list I have sections for all mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish I've seen. None of those lists are long and fish only includes freshwater species for now, but it's a work in progress. I'm also tempted to add an insect list, but my ID skills aren't quite up to that yet.


velico ergo sum
Thank you kindly.

But remember there are three species in GB! Unfortunately your photo is not from good angle (do you have profile shot?) but looks too short-snouted for lyra, more likely reticulatus. This is also the species most likely to be found in littoral zone.


Staff member
Hmm, wouldn't like to say, females/immatures v diff. I've unfortunately never seen one so just going from id guide.
Thanks for taking a look. This was quite high in the inter-tidal and on the tip of Ardnamurchan in the west of Scotland. There was a nice shoal of Lesser Sandeel swimming around our wellies too.



Well-known member
United States
I've probably caught ~20 species of fish, and probably seen a good deal more during random swimming in the ocean and a few snorkeling trips, but it seems tedious to keep a fish list.


rabid twitcher
Czech Republic
For everything living, there is always iNaturalist - good to keep records and get IDs and since a few days now also again good for maintaining a list (it's no longer buggy as hell).

I personally don't intend to watch fish in any capacity due to my deep hatred of water :)

Ha ha ha ha never say never.

I really thought I hated water. Then I snorkeled for the first time ever in February in Saudi Arabia, because we simply already were there and the Farasans may be one the world's best places, so we had to try it. 6 weeks later we went to Bali, already with our own gear, focusing on snorkeling, and now we have 331 species of fish on our list and counting. It's absolutely fantastic, there are so many species of fish, most of them completely oblivious to your presence and very close by. And you just hang there, with no effort, no gravity, just looking around.

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