Borneo has some of the most incredible diving and snorkelling around the world, especially in Sipadan! Wherever you go, you’re bound to bump into incredible fish species. To help you identify some of the most common ones that you’ll see while snorkelling or diving, I’ve put together this handy guide.
Always be careful when snorkelling and swimming in the sea, stay in recommended areas and don’t go alone. I also recommend bringing your own snorkel.
Some of the ones available to hire from budget places aren’t very good and I used one that squeezed my face! They’re sometimes cheaper to buy at home, in Borneo they cost around $20-30 to buy or around $5 per day to hire.
Be sure to adhere to the snorkelling code of conduct in order to protect the reef. Do not touch any coral or marine life, apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going into the water and don’t take anything from the ocean, unless its trash.
I’ve concentrated on tropical fish here, but you stand a chance of seeing turtles, dolphins and sharks as well!
1. Moorish idol
3. Titan triggerfish
Be careful of these bad boys, as they have a bite that will go through your snorkel.
4. Giant pufferfish
5. Porcupine pufferfish
6. Razorfish (also known as shrimpfish)
7. Coral grouper
10. Bluestripe snapper
11. Sergeant major fish
12. Oriental sweetlips
13. Yellowtail fusilier
14. Moon wrasse
15. Orange clownfish
16. Melon butterflyfish
17. Panda or Philippine butterflyfish
18. Pennant coralfish or longfin bannerfish
20. Bicolour parrotfish
21. Circular spadefish (batfish)
This isn’t an exhaustive list so you’ll certainly find more as there are plenty more fish in Borneo!
I saw these fish species while I was snorkelling in the waters around Kota Kinabalu. Did you see different fish on other islands? Let me know in the comments below.
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