SSI – Coral Identification

The SSI – Coral Identification course introduces the procedures to follow to identify corals. This start with learning more about them, like what they are. Corals are very simple organisms but are very unique. They are in fact animals living for most in big colonies.

Many aspects about them can be misleading. As an example, contrary to fishes, color does not easily represent a species. Some species can have a wide array of colors. This is why we need to learn about other characteristics that differentiate them such as the structure of their skeleton, the way they reproduce, their population and more.

An overview of the SSI – Coral Identification program

What they are

You will in the first place learn about the morphology of corals and their symbiotic relationship it has with a certain type of algae. They are what is giving the coral their color. Skeletons of corals are the foundation of the large coral reefs that grow through time.

How do they reproduce

Their reproduction is a phenomenon that still has its mystery. There are many ways that coral can reproduce. One of the most incredible is through cloning but there is even more. In some places, we can assist to a mass coral spawning when they release their equivalent of pollen in the water.

Comment les nommer

Vous apprenez la nomenclature et catégorisation des coraux afin de pouvoir les identifier correctement. Les noms sont dit scientifiques sont importants car ils évitent les erreurs de traduction ou la disparité des noms communs utilisés.

How to identify them effectively

You will learn what and how to observe and what to note on your slate. The more information the better as this is required in the effective identification of corals. You will also see how to classify them according to what has been observed to finally determine their name.

The option of open water dives

On one of our day trips, you will have the chance to test your knowledge. You will have to identify a few corals observed on the dives at your own pace. Once back at the dive center, reference material will be made available to identify corals. You will be able under the supervision of your instructor take the steps that will lead to the identification of the corals noted on the slates.

Schedule of the SSI – Coral Identification program

The SSI – Coral Identification is part of the series of academic only courses. This means that in the basic course, there are no in-water activities. Do not worry, we do offer the option to do 2 dives on one of our day trips.

Example of the course with 2 dives

Morning Afternoon
1st
day
  • Paperwork and account set up with SSI
  • Forms and payments
  • Academic support presentation
  • Self-study
  • Review of the theory if completed online before
  • Study
  • Exams
2nd
day
  • Breakfast at the dive center
  • Planning and briefing of the first dive
  • Presentation of some local fishes along with the signals
  • First dive
  • Debriefing
  • Lunch on the boat
  • Predive planning of 2nd dive
  • Second dive
  • Debriefing
  • Another dive can be done if it is the day with 3 dives
  • Logbook entries on the way back or at the dive center
  • Identification of fishes with the available material at the center
  • Certification

SSI – Coral Identification course prerequisites

Not much is required to take part in the course, the only thing required is to be at least 10 years old.

If the option of dives is added to the course, participants must have an SSI – Open Water Diver certification or an equivalent certificate from another agency. Also if participants are under 18 years old a permission and liability release signed by parents or guardian must be provided before any in water activities

Requirements overview:

  • 10 years or older
  • With the option of dives, you must have at least an SSI – Open Water Diver certification or equivalent.

What is included with the SSI – Coral Identification course

SSI - Coral Identification certification card

To make things easy we include everything you need to earn your certification. The only thing we do not provide is towels and sunscreen.

  • The learning material in electronic format for the duration of the course
  • The instructor
  • The certification card in electronic format (available in a plastic format on special request)
  • Access to identification material such as books for use at the center
  • Rental of the full kit of gear including; mask, fins, snorkel, short wetsuit, regulator set, buoyancy compensator and weight system. Slates, dive computer, tank, and fills are included as needed for the option with dives
  • 2 dives on a day trip if the option is selected
  • Meals and snacks when taking part in trips which include breakfast and lunch, as well as fruits, refreshments, tea, coffee, soft drinks, electrolyte drink and of course drinking water.

Course packages

Prices start with the basic academic program with no dives included. The option to go on a day trip can be added

The basic program SSI – Coral Identification (with no dives) 3,750
The options to go on a day trip for 2 dives +1,600
Prices are subject to changes without prior notice. We recommend to contact us directly to obtain up to date prices and a more personalized service.

What we need to know about the SSI – Coral Identification course

The SSI – Coral Identification program does not provide identification books and other material. We allow students to use the one we have but they are not included in the course.

The outcome of the course in according to each participant with their understanding and knowledge. Some corals prove to be hard to identify correctly even to the experts. In other words, we must not give up if it seems impossible to do for some corals after the course.

This course as no academic value out of the diving context. No value for credits and such in public schools systems.

What to do after an SSI – Coral Identification course

After the SSI – Coral Identification course you can enroll in one of the courses on similar topics. The SSI – Fish Identification or SSI – Marine Ecology programs are good complements.

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