Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Marine Fishes of NW Aust
Most divers living in NSW and Victoria as well as South Australia would be very familar with the excellent fish book Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. This really is the definitive fish book for serious scuba divers (or even fishers) of the southern part of our country.
For a couple of years after the Southern Australian book came out, there was a gap in the market for a really good book on fish of the northern part of Australia. This was redressed in 1988 when the First Edition of The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia was published by the Western Australian Museum. This equally excellent book has more than 1200 colour drawings of 1062 species of fish in its 201 pages. Even though the book states to be a comprehensive guide of the reef and shore fishes found in the area from Shark Bay, WA, to Darwin in the Northern Territory, it in reality provides a fairly good guide to fish found in the entire northern Australian area down to northern NSW.
As well as the excellent colour diagrams, the book contains detailed descriptions of each species, distribution limits, maximum size (including Australian record angling weight), an indication of abundance (rare, common etc) and scientific names. It is very similar to the Southern book and some species are, of course, in both books, but it differs in some ways. The book includes a very good extra, a box of general information on most families.
Like its sister books Sea Fishes of Southern Australia and Reef Fishes of New Guinea, this book is also illustrated by Roger Swainston. He is joined by Gerald R. Allen who also contributed to the New Guinea book.
Make no mistake, this is the best book to purchase if you are going to dive the Barrier Reef or the northern half of Australia. It is also an excellent book for divers who are visiting northern NSW (especially the Solitary Islands).