Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors


Check Local Conditions

Check Local Conditions


Home 9 Get Certified 9 Specialty Certifications 9 Fish Identification



Fish Identification


Want to be the diver who can always answer the question “What’s the name of that fish?” Become a certified PADI AWARE Fish Identification Diver!  The Casino Point Dive Park is a Marine Protected Area abundant with hundreds of species of fish and is the perfect location to learn new skills.

Imagine gliding seamlessly through schools of tiny Blacksmith just after spawning or hovering motionless to observe the Giant Black Sea Bass! As a PADI AWARE Fish Identification Diver, you’ll be trained to recognize the fish around you plus become a Citizen Scientist, completing and submitting fish surveys to the Reef Environmental Education Foundation. In addition, this specialty will count toward your  Master Scuba Diver rating.

As divers, we already share a deep connection to the sea. Ocean Conservation is vitally important to us. PADI AWARE is a global movement for ocean protection, and we are proud to be a PADI 100% AWARE Partner.  The more you learn about our underwater environment, the more you can appreciate it.

Your class will cover a range of topics including:

  • identifying a variety of species (with special emphasis on those found in local waters)
  • buoyancy control to effortlessly position yourself as you observe marine life
  • interacting safely with undersea creatures in an eco-friendly way
  • fish surveying techniques and strategies
  • steps you can take toward ocean conservation and sustainability
    PADI fish ID

     You’ll learn to be a safe, independent diver – understanding the “how and why” of each skill so you’ll be able to make informed decisions when your instructor isn’t around to offer guidance. In this class, you’ll have an instructor right by your side, so you’ll feel comfortable while you gain more confidence in your abilities.

    All of our classes are private, limited to just you or your small group. This class is generally planned over a minimum 1-day period, but with us, learning happens at your own pace.  Rushing through is not the way to go.

    Our belief in the art of possible and adaptive approach to teaching empowers you on a journey that is unique to you.

    Our approach is different than you’ll find elsewhere: we celebrate inclusivity and diversity and ensure that everyone is treated with respect, patience, empathy and kindness.

    All PADI courses are performance-based, meaning that we modify skill techniques to meet performance requirements by leveraging what individual students can do.  You purchase a class, but you earn your certification. Call us if you feel you might need additional adaptive support. Learn more

    What to Expect
    • Your instructor will call each diver before the class begins, so you’ll be able to get to know each other and get answers to any questions you might have.
    • Your minimum 1-day class will include 1 Checkout Dive and 2 Open Water training dives.
    • If you are already certified as a PADI Advanced Open Water or Adventure Diver and completed an AWARE Fish Identification dive as an Adventure dive, only one additional dive is required, and the second dive will be a fun dive.
    • Similarly, the first dive of this certification may count as an Adventure Dive for PADI Advanced Open Water or Adventure Diver certification. Please ask your instructor for details.
    • Pacific water is considered cold water year-round (upper 50s-low 60s F in winter and upper 60s – low 70s in summer), so you will be wearing a 7mm wetsuit, boots and possibly a hood.
    • NOTE: Use of any kind of camera during your training dives is not allowed.

    Plan for the Day

    1. Your class will be conducted at the beautiful Casino Point Dive Park, which is a world-class marine preserve located in Avalon with a shore entry down a short flight of stairs. (Adaptive accommodations are available.)
    2. This course does not have eLearning available, so we’ll send you some materials ahead of time with the majority of teaching done on site.
    3. You’ll complete a quiz, and we’ll discuss the results and answer any questions you might have to make sure you have a clear understanding of the information.
    4. Next, you’ll complete a checkout dive to allow your instructor to evaluate your abilities and level of comfort in the ocean.
    5. We will complete a minimum of two Open Water training dives, with surface intervals between each dive, including time for rest, water and a healthy lunch.
    6. Some divers need additional time to complete the class, and multiple options are available to do so. PADI standards allow up to 3 training dives per day.
    7. If you’ve completed all performance requirements, TA-DA! You’re now a certified PADI AWARE Fish Identification Diver!

    There’s always time for questions – we’re here to help you every step of the way!

    PLEASE NOTE: The Park is considered Confined Open Water by PADI standards.  None of your class will be conducted in a pool – there are no pools available on the island.

    What’s Required
    • All divers must currently hold Open Water or Jr. Open Water certification.
    • Class Size: For the AWARE Fish Identification Specialty, we prefer to keep the class size to a maximum of 4 divers in one party so that everyone has enough time to learn in comfort at their own pace. However, if you have a larger family group, please call us and we will try to accommodate your needs.
    • We have had requests by friends or family members to join divers on certification classes. Generally, this is not allowed, as both the student and instructor need to be focused on diver skills and safety. If this is something you feel strongly about, please call us to discuss your concerns.
    • Minimum Age: Certified divers ages 10 and up may participate, but no more than two 10- or 11-year-old divers may be in the same class per PADI standards. (Depth limits also apply.)
    • Insurance: You must purchase  DAN Dive Insurance  for every member of your group and provide proof of insurance prior to your arrival on Catalina Island. Learn more
    • Logbook: Please bring your current Logbook for your instructor to review.
    • Medical Clearance: All certification classes require medical clearance before arrival on the island. Please download and complete this form immediately, returning it signed via email as soon as possible before your arrival. (launch in new window- link Diver Medical Questionnaire)
    • Depending on each diver’s unique circumstance, signoff by a medical doctor may be required. Please contact us immediately if you have any concerns whatsoever. If you need medical signoff and you do not have that before your arrival, you will not be allowed to proceed with your class.
    • If anyone under the age of 18 is participating, there are additional forms which will be provided, and which must also be completed and signed by a parent or guardian and returned via email as soon as possible before your arrival.
    • You must have relatively good buoyancy skills, be able to swim and be in good overall health.
    • Do bring your own bathing suit and towel. We also recommend bringing a warm jacket for surface intervals.
    What’s Included
    • On-site Knowledge Development: Your instructor will provide some materials ahead of time for you to review, but the majority of teaching will occur on-site in an interactive, informal format.
    • Private Instruction: Your class will be yours alone.  No one you don’t know will be participating.
    • Standard Gear: We provide everything you need for your day of diving from quality high-end gear, to shade, mats and chairs – even locked storage for your valuables and fresh water to rinse off after your dive. All included for no extra charge. Learn more

    Gear Package includes:

    • 7mm wetsuit, hood, boots and gloves, as needed
    • Computer, if needed (Note: If earning a separate Nitrox certification, you must have your own computer.)
    • Mask, fins and snorkel
    • BCD, regulator, tanks and weights
    • Sizing: Please indicate the correct body weight, height and shoe size for each diver. Because we bring your gear to you, we would need to leave Casino Point to exchange sizes or retrieve necessary items. This may not leave enough time for all dives planned per day, incurring additional fees for the time needed to complete the class.
    • If you already have your own gear, we’ll fit you and help you learn to use it properly if needed.
    • If you have your own computer, please download and carefully read the user manual before you arrive.
    • Fish Identification Specialty Gear: We will provide a Fish ID card, slates and sample survey materials for use during your class.
    • Proof of Certification: We will process your certification and PADI will issue a certification e-Card upon completion of your class. Physical cards may be purchased from PADI at an additional charge.
    • Drinks and Snacks: We provide water (and hot beverages if it’s chilly), but please feel free to bring your own light snacks and we’ll keep them in a cooler if needed.
    • Catering: Healthy catered lunches including options for protein shakes are available at an additional fee.

    Our Environmental Commitment ensures that our gear, products and packaging are as eco-friendly as possible. Learn more

    Pricing Options

    AWARE Fish Identification Diver Certification Class – 1 day, including 1 Checkout Dive and 2 Open Water Dives

    • $425 per person
    • Because we’re a 100% AWARE partner, you will receive a special PADI AWARE version of your PADI certification card so that you can proudly display your support of ocean conservation!

    Additional Training Days

    Purchase of a class does not guarantee certification. Additional days may be required to complete training dives (at the discretion of your PADI instructor) in order to meet PADI standards for certification.

    • Additional training day: $350 per person
    • Additional half training day (less than 4 hours): $250 per person
    • NOTE: For Adaptive Divers, different rates may apply. Please call us to discuss your unique situation.


    • Add PADI AWARE Specialist certification: $55 per person Learn more
    • Add Enriched Air/ Nitrox certification: $195 per person (includes eLearning) Learn more
      • A second certification may be earned during your AWARE Fish Identification class at a reduced rate from purchase of a stand-alone class. There is no separate in-water dive, but Nitrox may be used during a training dive.
      • eLearning must be complete before arrival.
      • You must have your own computer so that you can change your gas mixture settings independently.
      • Nitrox tank rental may be done on-site through a local vendor at an additional fee.
    • Bundling Classes: If you are interested in bundling other certifications, please call us to discuss your options.
    • Add catered food or beverages for your surface interval. See Menus

    All prices are in US dollars.

    Please carefully review our full Terms, Conditions and Cancellation Policy  before purchase. 

    You may also be interested

    Peak Performance Buoyancy

    Advanced Open Water

    Underwater Naturalist