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Reef Fish Identification - Tropical Pacific Paperback – January 1, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 470 pages
  • Publisher: New World Publications; illustrated edition edition (January 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1878348361
  • ISBN-13: 978-1878348364
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Stuart N. Gow on July 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book revolutionised fish ID in the tropical South Pacific when it first came out. We live and work in Fiji in the marine environment and have 4 of these on our shelf (for use of staff in the field as well as office)

The only drawback we find is the bizarre choice of common names. There are already a plethora of other books out there with common names fairly well established in Fiji by Lieske&Meyers. Seems to follow more of an Australian theme for these than the prevous Paul Humman books which use the American common names.

But overal a MUST for any diver who visits the Tropical Pacific. If you use it in conjunction with Lieske&Meyers then if you don;t find the fish you're looking at, prepare to be published!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By hupo on August 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is an outstanding fish ID manual for the Pacific and Indian ocean region. It beats out others books of a similar nature with the number of photos (6 on every page for a total of over 2,500 pics) and the helpful identification notes below each pic along with the average size of the fish, localised habitat(if any)and pictures of the juvenile fish alongside the adult as well distinguishing feature between male and female forms and arrows pointing to distinguishing marks between similar fish of the same species. Fish are easily found from a photo you took or memory, as it places them into 20 identification groups according to body shape. The pictures are not quite the same quality as The Asia Pacific Reef Guide by Helmut Debelius but they are good enough. Unlike most books of this type it is fish specific so does not include any pics of molluscs, crustaceans, cephalopods, nudibranches, corals or other denizens of the ocean. You have to go to his Reef Creatures ID book for that in the excellent 3 volume Reef Set. Great book, highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ehkzu on January 4, 2009
Format: Paperback
I just came back from a dive trip to Bali and spent a week, off and on, IDing the fish I'd photographed. This book turned out to be the most useful. It includes photos of a lot of color/sex/age variations that proved invaluable. This book also puts little arrows in many pics to point out features that help differentiate a fish from otherwise similar ones--I found that to be very useful.

However, though it's the best book for tropical Pacific fish IDing, I did find that I needed to cross-reference it with several others in ambiguous cases (and many cases were ambiguous!)--particularly one Aussie book that uses paintings instead of photos: "Marine Fishes of South-East Asia" by Gerry Allen (though this book often uses different common names, so you'll have to go by scientific names in many cases to correlate it with American texts). Sometimes a painting can highlight features a particular photo won't show clearly. And this book shows some interesting fish that aren't strictly coral reef fish, which nevertheless you might see on a trip (think mahi-mahi, flying fish etc.).

Lastly, you should also have a general underwater guide, for 3 reasons: (1) this is what you should actually bring with you on a trip, leaving larger, heavier, more specialized books like the one being reviewed here at home (especially with current luggage weight restrictions). (2) A general guide, such as "Indo-Pacific Coral Reef Guide" by Dr. Gerald R. Allen & Roger Steene, also has everything from corals to sea snakes. (3) Any given fish you see is probably a common one; a general guide will only show common fish. So you'll generally want to look here first.

The book I'm reviewing here is organized for identification rather than scientifically.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Hill on October 31, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a fish watcher, which is to say that I keep careful track of the species of fish that I see on my trips. My wife and I are headed to Bali for a month. This guide was recommended to us. Reef fish of the Tropical Pacific pictures lots of species and covers a very large area. The pictures are fairly good for the purposes of identification. The ranges given for the fish are fairly helpful, but we find it difficult to interpret exactly when a species might occur in our area. Distribution maps would be an improvement. Having said that, this guide may be about the best available for areas of the tropical Pacific for which a specific guide does not exist. jeff
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn Shearlock on December 7, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was living on the Sea of Cortez and bought this (before Humann came out with the Baja to Panama book). It would be a great guide in Hawaii, Fiji, Tahiti, etc. but it's just about useless in Baja.

If you are looking for good fish books for Baja, my choices (out of the dozen or so I own) are:

Reef Fish Identification: Baja to Panama -- If I had to pick just one, this would be it. It's really designed for identification and some of the others are better to learn about the fish once you've identified it. Tons of color photos.

Sea of Cortez Marine Animals: A Guide to the Common Fishes and Invertebrates Baja California to Panama -- A good compromise between identification and learning about the fish. Covers most of the common fish, but not as many as the above. Uses color photos.

Reef Fishes of the Sea of Cortez: The Rocky-Shore Fishes of the Gulf of -- Best book to learn about the fish, but not as strong on ID. Covers a lot of fish. Some color photos, other B&W photos, many drawings.

Fishes of the Pacific Coast: Alaska to Peru, Including the Gulf of California and the Galapagos Islands -- Inexpensive, pocket-sized book, color drawings, short info on each fish. Best book for edibility information.
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