Marine Life


Roatan’s reefs are home to 95% of species found in the Caribbean. The galleries in each section display a small selection of what you can see on our dive sites.

Pristine Coral

Roatan has some of the most pristine coral in the Caribbean, and is protected as part of the Roatan Marine Park. Diving from West Bay you’ll see hundreds of impressive Fans, 600 year old Barrel Sponges which can fit a person inside, Brain Coral, Whip Coral, and hundreds of other species. These reefs are teeming with many different species of reef fish, octopus crustaceans, and other creatures, including the rare string of pearls on night dives.

Turtles, Rays, Dolphins, Sharks?

We see turtles on the majority of our reef dives. Roatan is home to Hawksbill, Green, and the occasional Loggerhead turtle. Usually they just swim past us but if you are lucky you might catch one sitting on the bottom feeding on sponge and have a protracted close encounter. We also commonly see Stingrays and Eagle Rays. Although it is certainly not a daily or even weekly occurence, it is possible to see Caribbean reef sharks, Nurse sharks, Hammerheads, and the very occasional Whale shark from West Bay. For the greatest chance of seeing Hammerheads request dives on West End Wall and Pablo’s Place where the currents are strongest. If you want a 100% chance of swimming with reef sharks we can book you into one of the shark dives on the south of the island.

Lionfish: Invasive Species!

This beautiful predatory fish is unfortunately an invasive species and is not native to the Caribbean. It is proliferating at an alarming rate and destroying local fish species due to its fast reproductive capacity and lack of natural predators. The Marine Park has put in place an eradiction program by authorising the spearing of these fish and giving out spears to Instructors and Divemasters. If you sign up for our Divemaster program we will train you how to hunt these fish and help protect the reef.

Green, Goldentail, and Spotted Morays

Eels Have evolved a very flexible and elongated body shape that allows them access to more food sources than other fishes: Animals that are hiding deep within the crevices of the reef. They are fast enough to catch fish free-swimming in the water, but usually hunt by trapping prey in small crevices on the reef. We see the Green, Goldentail, and Spotted Morays and sometimes get lucky by finding a Chain Moray.

Triggerfish

Triggerfish and Filefish get their name from a long foredorsal spine that can be raised up and locked into position to deter larger fish from attacking. They are not fast swimmers and eat less mobile prey, such as crustaceans and brittle stars. Here on Roatan we have a huge variety and abundance of triggerfish and see them daily, especially when diving the point. Queen, Ocean, Sargassum, and Black Durgons are the triggerfish found on our reef.

Most Common Reef Fish

On our reef the marine life is abundant and there are some families of fish with several different species in each family that we see on almost every dive. The parrotfish and tang are considered to be herbivores and eat a wide variety of reef organisms. Since Roatan has such a healthy reef schools of tang and large numbers of parrotfish are seen. Do not be surprised if you find a mutton snapper following you during your dive or hear the grunting noise made by grinding its teeth together. On the point we often come across large schools of Jacks easily identified by their arrow shaped tails.