Fish to Dive For — A New Publication describes over 2500 Reef Fishes, including 25 species new to science


This three volume book set serves as the most comprehensive guide to reef fishes in the Coral Triangle ever produced, a region known as the global epicenter of marine biodiversity.

Jakarta, Indonesia — Today Conservation International (CI) announced the release of the "Reef Fishes of the East Indies" book set by CI scientists Dr. Gerald Allen and Dr. Mark Erdmann,  representing the culmination of a combined 60 years' of effort to document the biodiversity of the mega-diverse coastal waters of the East Indies.
An essential reference for biologists, naturalists and divers that frequent the region, the "Reef Fishes of the East Indies" is the most up to date guide offering comprehensive information on every known reef fish species from a region known as the global epicenter of marine biodiversity. The book set contains concise descriptions of each of the 2,631 currently known reef fish species from the region, and features over 3,600 colour photographs — of which approximately 40 percent have never before been seen in print. Careful attention to detail has been paid to illustrate the morphological variances between species and within species to differentiate between the sexes, life stages, as well as those species that have multiple regionally-specific colour patterns.
"The need for an up-to-date reference to the reef fishes of this region has been obvious for decades, as scientists have traditionally relied on outdated monumental works such as M. Weber & L.F. de Beaufort's 'Fishes of the Indo-Australian Archipelago', published as 11 volumes between 1911 and 1962. Publishing this book has been a dream I've nurtured since I was a graduate student at the University of Hawaii in the 1960's," said Dr. Gerald Allen, "and I'm proud to note that we've nearly doubled the number of reef fishes previously reported from the region." Allen is an acclaimed author of 35 other guides, but “Reef Fishes of the East Indies” represents his greatest achievement yet, capping a long and illustrious career in ichthyology.
The coverage area of the book includes the Coral Triangle (including Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands) as well as the South China Sea (including Brunei Darussalam to Vietnam and Singapore), the Andaman Sea (including Thailand, Myanmar, and the Andaman Islands of India) and Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. It covers all shallow-water (0-75m) reef-associated fish species known from the region, including both obligate reef dwellers and those that are commonly observed passing through reef areas or in the soft bottom areas just adjacent to reefs.
“It's been an honor working with Dr. Allen on what can only be described as his magnum opus, capping an illustrious career in biodiversity studies” said Dr. Mark Erdmann. "We're also delighted to be able to present this reference to governments and universities in the region, who have been invaluable partners in advancing this research. It is our sincere hope that this book will serve as an inspiration for us to appreciate the tremendous marine biodiversity that we are custodians of, and also help to guide governmental efforts to better manage their marine resources for the benefit of their people."
Available content for media:
Photos for download (*Mandatory image credits and caption requirements as stated in photo caption and metadata*):

For more information, contact:
Conservation International:
Mark Erdmann, Senior Advisor for Indonesia Marine Program, Mobile: + 08 12 386 6752, Email:  
Emmeline Johansen, Regional Communications Manager - Asia Pacific, Conservation International, Mobile: (+64) (0) 2777 93401, E-mail:
Reef Fishes of the East Indies, Gerald R. Allen & Mark V. Erdmann,
(Suggested citation: Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Volumes I-III. Tropical Reef Research, Perth, Australia.)
ISBN 978-0-9872600-1-7 (Vol. I)
ISBN 978-0-9872600-0-0 (Set)
International distribution is available through the University of Hawaii Press.
RRP US $249 (hardbound set, including an attractive slip cover). More details on ordering can be found at: Orders will ship by July 2012.
Conservation International (CI) — Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, CI empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, our global biodiversity, for the long term well-being of people. Founded in 1987, CI has headquarters in the Washington, DC area, and nearly 900 employees working in more than 30 countries on four continents, plus 1,000+ partners around the world. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter: @ConservationOrg or Facebook:   
Research in cooperation with: Conservational International Indonesia, Jl. Dr. Muwardi No. 17, Renon, Bali 80235 Indonesia.