For many of us, the Red Sea is the place of our first scuba dives. And the place of the first acquaintance with the world of tropical fish and corals. A world of bright colours and such unusual sea animals that you want to understand what you are looking at.
This is where books come to help us. My first book – of course it was yellow Debelius! Red Sea Reef Guide, to be precise. First published in 1997, this book has only changed its cover since then. And this is my first love in the world of fish identification books. No one has ever asked the question – is this book about the fish of the Red Sea? The answer will be given later.
I soon realised that I was seeing a lot of things underwater that were not in this book. Lieske-Myers arrived on time – Coral Reef Guide Red Sea, much more detailed and comprehensive. But some time passed and I asked myself the same question. Is this book about the fish of the Red Sea?
The answer in both cases is the same and lies on the surface – you should carefully look at the covers and first pages of the books. Both books are about the Red Sea and surrounding seas. And a large proportion of the fish presented in these wonderful books have never been seen in the Red Sea. Gulf of Aden, Somalia, Oman. Not spoiled by the attention of tourists. But they are interesting in terms of marine biology. And the authors’ desire to share with readers photographs of fish from this region is understandable. Let it be towed to the Red Sea. But this sometimes creates funny situations. Like pages where none of the fish are present in the Red Sea – but only experts notice this.
Both of the books mentioned above are great. And with their help it is possible to identify hundreds of species of fish from the Red Sea – 436 in the first and 556 in the second. But the years passed – and then decades. Dozens of new species of Red Sea fish have been described, many have changed their names. I already lived in Sharm el Sheikh in Sinai. And when it became difficult to identify my underwater photographs with old books, I prepared and published Red Sea Marine Life book in 2022. More than 800 species of fish, 260 species of corals. A total of 2120 species, including nudibranchs, crustaceans and others. My friends helped me with photographs of many rare species, but two thirds of the photographs in the book are mine.
My job of identifying my own underwater photos has been made a lot easier! Actually, this is why the book was created, like my other books. The only problem is that I continue to scuba dive in the Red Sea. And while diving I continue to find new interesting fish and other reef animals. Time for an update? But it will be endless! On the other hand – why not?
The material is a subjective opinion and therefore does not contain conclusions. But it contains objective information
Best Regards, Andrey Ryanskiy