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6 Rare Species You’ll Witness Beneath the Sea with Fort Young Dive

One of the most exciting and memorable experiences you can have while visiting Dominica is a trip under the sea with Fort Young Dive. Day or night, our team will guide you through the water to have an unforgettable, up-close experience with marine life. These are just some of the aquatic species you might encounter during a deep sea dive. 

1. Sperm Whales

Fifty feet (15 meters) long and weighing up to 45 tons, sperm whales are the largest toothed whales — and the largest toothed predator — in the world. While sperm whales are known to migrate, Dominica’s mild and consistent climate offers an ideal setting for year-round living. Nearly 200 of these enormous creatures reside in the waters surrounding Dominica all year. That means no matter what time of year you’re visiting, you have the opportunity to spot at least one!

2. Barracudas

Long and snake-like with sharp teeth, barracudas are ferocious and fascinating creatures. Some can reach up to 65 inches (165 centimeters) long, making them a sight to see. Barracudas are commonly sighted at Scott’s Head Pinnacle, which has been rated as one of the top dive sites in the world—best for intermediate or advanced divers.

3. Batfish

Despite “fish” being in their name, batfish are actually poor swimmers. You’ll most often find them walking along the bottom of the ocean floor. While they tend to prefer deep waters, you’ll sometimes spot them in shallower waters, most often recognized for their broad, flat heads and bodies covered with hard lumps and spines. Fun fact: Batfish have a retractable ray/fin on the front of their head that functions like a fishing pole for catching prey.

4. Flying Gurnards

While not necessarily rare, flying gurnards are bottom dwellers, so you’re unlikely to spot them unless snorkeling or diving near the ocean floor. These fish are often colorful with very large pectoral fins, appearing almost wing-like when outspread. 

5. Sea Sponges

Off the West Coast of Dominica, you’ll find Nose Reef, named for its three protruding ledges — the deepest of which sits at 120 feet (36 meters). Because this ridge protrudes into the current, it’s home to a thriving community of marine life, including turtles, corals, and sea sponges. The unique draw is that you’ll see sea sponges of all colors and sizes. It’s a beautiful sight.

6. Frogfish

Similar to batfish, frogfish also “walk” along the ocean floor. They’re certainly among the strangest looking fish in the sea, with fins that look and function like legs and a permanent shocked expression on their faces. These fish are able to camouflage themselves well among reef, wood, and algae. Also similar to batfish is the frogfish’s ability to lure in prey via a worm-like modified fin.

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