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Reef Fish Identification: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas Paperback – February, 2002


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Paperback, February, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This new edition closes the gap in species accounts. We found a number of species that seemed to continually confuse divers because of their variable colors and markings. For those species we added more pictures to show the variations.

About the Author

In the early 1970s, Paul Humann, then captain owner of the Caribbean's first live-aboard dive boat, Cayman Diver, experienced daily frustration when unable to answer his clients many questions about the host of fish they encountered on every dive. Paul began a crusade to photograph every species he encountered. After working on several projects with Ned DeLoach, the team collaborated to produce this book. In the years that followed the partners dedicated themselves to the endless pusit of capturing new species on film. The result is the 2002 release of the third edition Reef Fish Identification.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 481 pages
  • Publisher: New World Publications; 3rd edition (February 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1878348302
  • ISBN-13: 978-1878348302
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #364,379 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Harold McFarland HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is the authoritative reference for reef fish throughout the Florida, Caribbean and Bahamas area. The most complete book on reef fish that I have seen, it is easy to use and beautifully illustrated. Each fish has it's own full color picture along with a line drawing that points out the defining characteristics of that particular species. With a plastic cover and the pages treated to resist water it can be taken to the beach or onto the boat without much concern about the water damaging the book.
Each entry has complete information on the fish from size, depth, range and habitat to the level of concern that a diver should have for their safety around the fish. Whether you snorkel, scuba dive or engage in other activities around a reef, this is the best book to have to identify the fish. This book can also be purchased as part of a three part set that also includes the Reef Coral Identification and Reef Creature Identification texts, each of which is equally as excellent as the Reef Fish Identification book.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Stephan Bullard on February 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
If you are interested in identifying Caribbean reef fish, this is the best guide available. I am a professional marine biologist and have extensive diving experience on reefs in the Florida Keys and the Bahamas. I can honestly say that after 300+ underwater hours in these locations, I have never come across a bony fish that was not included in the guide. This fact was humorously brought home to me when I was in graduate school. My graduate advisor (a very experienced marine biologist with 20+ years of tropical diving experience) once thought that he had discovered a new species of fish. He was very excited and told all of us students to watch his fish and make sure "nothing happened" it. Needless to say, he was somewhat embarrassed when a 2 min investigation into the guide revealed that the fish was simply a wrasse blenny.
The guide is well organized, informative, and easy to understand. Although some scientific terms are included, the text is generally designed for non-specialists. That said, however, the information is so well presented and comprehensive that every specialist I know makes extensive use of this guide. Additionally, the illustrations are remarkable. Each species is represented by one or several beautiful color photographs as well as a simplified line drawing with the important identification features indicated. Overall, I can recommend this guide to anyone interested in Caribbean Fishes and/or Marine Biology. The guide would make a particularly nice gift for someone with a marine interest. Also see the companion volume "Reef Fish Behavior: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas;" an equally excellent book, that adds the ecological dimension to reef fish identification.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By doctor_beth #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 18, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After we came back from our honeymoon, I wanted to buy my husband a book to help identify the various fish we encountered on our trip, and this book turned out to be perfect. First of all, the fish are broken down into various classifications, and each category is clearly labelled. There are wonderfully clear, glossy pictures of each individual fish combined with a detailed description which includes information such as size, colors, appearance of immature, habitat, and reaction to divers. An ideal book for serious research or just for fun.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 20, 2005
Format: CD-ROM
Last fall I spent a week diving in Bonaire, and on my return saw the hard-copy version of "Reef Fish Identification (Florida Caribbean Bahamas) at my dive shop. I was very impressed with the large numbers of crisp and beautiful pictures, the authoritative description, but most importantly, the depiction for each animal of differences in appearance during each phase of life. I recently purchased the CD version (based largely on the reviews) and began using it today. I was disappointed to discover that it is clearly targeted at Windows 3.x machines: old-style forms and layouts, 8.3 naming conventions in directories (i.e., "Program Files" becomes "PROGRA~"). Most disappointing, however, was the grainy quality of every single fish image on the CD, despite my running it on a high-end graphics workstation. The only positive reason I can offer for purchasing the CD version is the Fish Finder, which offers the ability to search for creatures based on selecting from about eight characteristics.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By H. Sipple on March 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book has highly detailed photos,not illustrations, that help to identify any species you might come into contact. The format is very easy to navigate and you can even log the fish that you've I.D.'d in the back. I think all field guides should be built like this one!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. C Cardoso on October 22, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was developed for the active scuba diver and snorkeler. Everything is right about this visual guide to the diversity of reef fish of the tropical Western Atlantic: the lay-out, the high-quality paper, the beautiful pictures, the concise but very clear info. The Paul Humman's Reef ID series grew to become a standard in the genre and deserves praise.

If you are a diver and have Florida/Caribbean/Bahamas (and even Brazil!) in your plans and if your goal is to know pretty much every fish you can encounter on a reef, buy this book.

In the process, you can also learn a fair deal of ichtiology and the relationship among fishes (e.g. the goatfish is a relative of the mullet, the hogfish is a a kind of wrasse, guitarfish is a ray,etc).

Another great book from the same publisher is "Reef Fish behavior", which can take you to the next level - once again, it is a book with the scuba diver in mind, but it can be appreciated by every nature lover.
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