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Whitsundays popular fish species

When it comes to the Whitsundays, there is something else which is just as iconic as Heart Reef, the Great Barrier Reef’s Bait Reef and Longford Reef, Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet.

It is actually the lifeforms which surrounds these landmarks; the marine life that plays a key role in the entire ecosystem of the ocean and its reefs. The Whitsundays are famous for the types of fish it produces and more often than not, people from all around the world visit the region to swim side by side with these creatures, including the clownfish and surgeonfish, made popular by the movie 'Finding Nemo’.

Below is a list of some of the iconic fish of the Great Barrier Reef and you are likely to see while snorkelling, swimming or scuba diving in the Whitsundays. 

The Whitsundays top fish species:

  • Maori Wrasse: This amazing fish is a favourite to see when snorkelling and scuba diving in the Whitsundays. Known for its huge size and mild manners, these friendly fish often come to visit when they see people on the reef!
  • Coral Trout: Coral trout are found all throughout the Whitsundays and are a favourite, especially among fishers! They are mostly a coral colour with blue spots and tend to live in underwater caves.  
  • Fusiliers: You'll see this fish in huge numbers while on the reef! These silver and yellow fish are seen in large schools on most of the reefs and are not shy around people. They are only about the size of a hand, and zoom around snorkellers and swimmers on the reef. 
  • Clownfish: The Clownfish is a easy favourite for most people on the reef. The tiny, yet colourful fish are found living inside anemones in families, headed up by one breeding female. Ask your crew which reefs are host to these funny fish.
  • Surgeonfish: There are many types of surgeon fish that live in the Whitsundays. The most well known of this family is the blue tang, which is also known as the Dory fish, from the movie Finding Nemo. Surgeonfish all have spines at the base of their tale, which they will use in defence. 
  • Parrotfish: There are many parrotfish in the Whitsundays. Easily identified by their colourful markings and beak-like mouth, you can often hear the parrotfish when underneath the water. They eat coral polyps as their main source of food, munching on the coral, making a distinctive crunching sound that can easily be heard. 
  • Batfish: Batfish are a friendly species of fish that are often spotted hanging around the back of boats. As curious creatures, when a boat pulls up, they often swim over to see what's going on and have a munch on the algae that grows on the bottom of the boat. They are triangular in shape with black and yellow stripes. 
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