What is the PADI Aware Fish ID Specialty Course?

The PADI Aware Fish ID specialty course is designed to introduce divers to the most common families and species of fish found in temperate and tropical waters. Divers learn basic fish identification and scientific surveying techniques. Through an overview of PADI AWARE and other preservation and research efforts, such as the REEF Fish Survey Project, divers also learn the importance of personal involvement in aquatic environment conservation.

Jetty Dive’s PADI Aware Fish ID Specialty Course Includes:

  • Your PADI Aware Fish Identification Certification, registered in the PADI database, and digital certification card (E-Card)
  • Fish Identification knowledge development
  • Two beautiful boat dives at the Solitary Islands Marine Park, aboard our world-class boats. No carting your heavy dive gear from the beach into the water!
  • Option to add another 2x dives for additional cost!
  • Small group, 5-Star PADI training, for a more personal experience.
  • Plenty of fun and adventure!

Why learn about fish in Coffs Harbour with Jetty Dive Centre?

  • The Solitary Islands Marine Park is like no other! The only place where the Tropical Fish from the Great Barrier Reef meet the huge schools of fish from temperate waters. You can see Nemo and Dory along with the friendly Grey Nurse sharks, rare Black Cod and Turtles. Not to mention the seasonal creatures like Leopard Sharks during the summertime, rarer sights of Hammerhead Sharks near October and the occasional Manta Ray in March-April. There is so much to see!
  • The Solitary Islands Marine Park is pristine! We have vibrant corals, and wall to wall fish! We dive in action packed Marine Sanctuary Zones full of fishlife!
  • The Solitary Islands dive sites are offshore. Close enough to be a quick boat trip from Coffs Marina, and yet far enough to get clean, pristine water that you can’t get inshore. Additionally, in season you may even see whales on the way.
  • The water temperature is the same as the Southern Great Barrier Reef, ranging from 18°C in winter to 25°C in Summer. With our wetsuits (in options of 3mm, 5mm, and 7mm) it’s a comfortable temperature all year round.
  • It may be just your boat out there! Unlike the Great Barier Reef there are no crowds.
  • We teach in small groups and make sure you have the training and skill to dive anywhere in the world.
  • We provide only genuine, high quality PADI courses.
  • Jetty Dive Centre is Ecotourism Australia Advanced Ecotourism Certified. This means we are internationally certified as following best practice environmentally conservative procedures. Therefore, our top focus is on ensuring we preserve the environment through all of our practices. Read more on our blog on Our Ecotourism Australia Certification.

PADI Fish ID Course Content

This course covers the knowledge and techniques for identifying fish common to the local area. This includes the following:

  1. The PADI AWARE philosophy about protecting worldwide aquatic ecosystems.
  2. Fish family groupings and common characteristics of fish species found in the local area.
  3. Fish surveying techniques and strategies for collecting valid data.
  4. The planning, organization, and procedures for identifying fish families and species while diving.
  5. The Coastkeepers of NSW have developed a slate kit which we use and have added our own extra varieties of fish common to the Solitary Islands Marine Park

When can I start my PADI Fish ID course?

Courses can be conducted any day we can dive the Solitary Islands, so any day the boat is scheduled with sufifcient bookings and suitable weather conditions!

Bookings are Essential!
To find out more about current conditions email or give us a call.

How much is the PADI Aware Fish ID course?

PADI Aware Fish ID course $370.00

Gear hire extra $60

Prerequisites for the PADI Aware Fish ID Specialty Course

  • Minimum certification of Open Water Diver or Equivalent is required to complete this course.
  • Minimum age is 12.
  • A sense of adventure and excitement always helps!

The PADI Aware Fish ID Specialty Course counts towards your MASTER SCUBA DIVER RATING.

Booking Conditions

  • The Solitary Islands half day Dive Trips rely on minimum numbers, and have maximum limits too, so prior bookings are essential! Be early in busy times!
  • A deposit is required to secure your booking. Deposits are fully refundable if 48 hours notice before the trip change of date or cancellation is given. (If we cancel trip due to weather we can also provide a full refund. Refer to part 29 of our terms and conditions for more details)
  • Trips are weather dependent, and may be cancelled  if unsuitable sea conditions prevail. This is a decision made by Jetty Dive Centre Staff, we will not go ahead if conditions are unsafe. Rain does not constitute for bad weather – it can often lead to better diving with more abundant fishlife!
  • Plan for SeaSickness! Even if you do not usually experience sea-sickness, we recommend taking travel sickness medication as it is better to be safe than sorry. We do not recommend using ginger. We CANNOT provide any medications.
  • We have adopted a ‘Reef-Safe Sunscreen Only” policy for our trips. If you will be getting in the water, please ensure you wear only reef-safe sunscreen. For more guidance, and to check your sunscreen, please read our post about our Reef-Safe Sunscreen Policy.
Yellow Boxfish - Ostracion cubicus - Cleaner Cave - 240219
Red Fire Goby - Nemateleotris magnifica - Cable Trail, South Solitary Island (N Fripp January 2024)
Grey Nurse Shark and fish at Cleaner Station
Anenomefish (T Davey January 2023)
Three-Bar Porcupine Fish
Juvenile Emperor Angelfish (N Fripp March 2022)
diver and anemonefish
age: Frippo-Eastern-Blue-Devil-best-photo-of-one-on-file-Buchanans.jpeg
Frippo - Fish - Thorny-back Cowfish - Lactoria fornasini - North Boulder - 240221

Where to find us.


Jetty Dive Centre Dive Shop is at 398 Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour, NSW 2450. This is where you begin your experiences with us! All Scuba Dives and Snorkelling must check-in before moving to departure point.


All our boats leave from the Public floating pontoon wharf opposite the “Attitude Burgers “ building.

Jetty dive google maps with markers for priority locations