Types of Fish You Can See While Scuba Diving in Belize

Belize is one of the most popular destinations for Scuba Diving, including countless diving sites such as the Belize Barrier Reef, the Great Blue Hole, three true atolls and over 200 cayes.

These spectacular diving sites are also the home of more than 500 fish species and 100 types of corals. The rich marine life and the wide variety of species make Belize one of the favorite destinations for Scuba Divers.

Not to mention that only 10% of its depths have been researched so far, meaning that 90% of Belize’s marine species have not been discovered yet!

Below are some of the most popular living attractions you can meet while Scuba Diving in Belize:

Whale Sharks

Despite its name, Whale Shark is not a whale, meaning it is not a mammal. However, it is the largest fish on the planet and one of the largest animals in the world.

The average size of an adult Whale Shark is approximately 32ft (10m) and they weight about 20,000lb (9t). There is no reason to be afraid of this friendly giant as they feed mostly on plankton.

beautiful whale shark in the carribean
Whale Shark Sighting!

They often swim alongside boats and divers, trying to play with humans. Whale Sharks are night feeders and tend to gather mainly during spring, but is not uncommon to see them during daylight any time of the year.

Caribbean Reef Sharks

It’s one of the most common types of sharks that roam around the Caribbean Sea. They measure up to 9,8ft (3m) long. They can be recognized by their dusky color fins without any prominent markings.

Reef shark in the caribbean ocean
They may look intimidating but don't worry! Safety is our first priority!

They are usually shy and do not express any interested in nearby divers. This way, they are not a threat to humans, unless hardly provoked or harassed.

Nurse Sharks

Another popular attraction in Belize’s waters is the sight of the Nurse Sharks. When fully grown, they weigh about 330kg and can reach up to 14ft (4,3m) long.

Nurse sharks are harmless and always a beautiful sight!

Usually, they rest during daytime and they hunt crustaceans at night. The best way to see a Nurse Shark while Scuba Diving is looking under crevices and ledges on the reef.

There are hundreds of species of sharks you can meet while diving in Belize. Some of the most popular and fascinating ones are the lemon sharks, the black-tip reed shark (similar to Caribbean reef shark), hammerhead sharks and the notorious tiger sharks and bull sharks.

Manta Ray

Manta Rays are huge gentle giants that Scuba Divers can admire at Belize. Their length can reach up to 18-23ft (5-7m). They have no commercial value, so fishermen do not hunt them.

Despite its huge size, they are friendly and they do not oppose a threat to humans. They feed on plankton, tiny organisms, and small fish. Sometimes they like to jump high out of the water, offering a spectacular experience.

manta ray swimming
We love seeing our harmless manta ray friends!

Scribbled Filefish

The Scribbled Filefish, also known as leatherjackets or foolfish prefer to explore the ocean alone rather than in groups, except the mating season.

Their unique characteristics are the stunning bright blue dots and lines. Other defense mechanisms include a series of spines that turn into a spear when they are threatened and the double blade knife on their tails.

Fishermen used their tough skin as a common wooden component for boat finishing or as an abrasive surface to light their matches.

Sea Turtles

Swimming alongside with a Sea Turtle is a remarkable experience that Scuba divers talk about after diving in Belize’s sites. The green turtle and the hawksbill turtle and the heavier loggerhead turtle are the three most common types you can find while scuba diving there.

They like to gather in Belize’s waters because the can find perfect nesting and feeding conditions. Also, they need a sandy beach to lay their eggs and a nearby ocean for when the baby turtles hatch from them.

sea turtle swimming in a ray of sunshine
Sea turtles are some of the most majestic looking creatures

Because their eggs have many natural predators, including human activity, the universal and local authorities have taken many measures to ensure that these friendly animals have a safe place to lay their eggs.

Other fish species you will probably see while Scuba Diving in Belize

Some fish species that are very likely to meet while diving In Belize include:

  • Great or Giant Barracuda: They are curious and they often swim at the surface.

  • Bluehead Wrasse: These little fish hatch as females and some of the change sex after reaching maturity.

  • Stoplight Parrotfish: They help to keep the reef clean and healthy by eating algae.

  • Sergeant Major: Divers can easily identify these friendly fish that are found in all habitats.

Belize’s marine life is so rich and diverse that there is no way to include all these species on our list! However, it is sure that you will meet at least some of the above-mentioned spectacular species that will make you never forget your diving trip to Belize!

As the #1 Dive shop in the South American Region our spots fill up fast! Make sure to book your trip with us ASAP by clicking HERE!

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