Riding the current with bannerfishes

Current dive

Longfish bannerfish cruise headlong into a moderate current. This way bits of food come to them and they essentially hover above the reef. I’m attempting the same, though I’m not streamlined like a fish and tire a bit quicker.

This dive was also one of my first dives leading a large group. I had seven other divers (though one was an instructor) following me on the Wall.

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Hold still dammit!

An impossible request for the longfin bannerfish

South Button denizens.

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Glorious, even on the verge of death

This reef won't last long

The reefs around South Button continue to bleach, thanks at least in part to human impacts such as acidification and climate change. It’s sad to think: If degraded reefs can support this much life, how much more are we missing by not taking care of these rain forests of the sea.

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The fish that helped Nemo?

What're you looking at shark bait?

I was at an aquarium ten days ago. As a divemaster and budding conservationist, I feel sad when I see animals in pens. At the same time, I recognize the greater good and love watching people — in particular small children — get excited by things they may never otherwise experience.

Which is why I got such a kick out of hearing a little girl at the aquarium describe a pennant coralfish, as “the fish that helped Nemo” to her mother.

Mom didn’t get it and gave her daughter a quizzical look; I kneeled down, tried not be creepy and engaged the six-year-old.

I explained that the fish in the tank were also called longfin bannerfish and rarely do you see them alone and sometimes they school by the dozens. Then I explained about scuba diving and how cool the ocean is.

Thankfully, Mom didn’t accuse me of trying to steal her daughter.

For the record, I believe Gill (of Pixar fame) technically was a moorish idol, a very similar looking fish.

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Bannerfish stands alone


I rarely see the long-fin banner fish alone. In my experience, they almost always travel in pairs or groups. But out by himself, he’s that much more striking.

From Dixon’s Pinnacle.

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