The experts field guide

Author: Rudie H. Kuiter & Co-author: Tim Godfrey

Fishes of the Maldives Indian Ocean

Fishes of the Maldives Indian Ocean is an indispensable resource for dive tourists, naturalists and marine scientists not only in the Maldives but also several other nations with corals reefs nearby. This updated book is taxonomically correct and covers a wide range of fish species likely to be encountered on reefs of the region. The underwater photographs are excellent, and the descriptions informative. I would recommend this book to anyone with a keen interest in coral reef fishes in the central and western Indian Ocean.

Nicholas A J Graham, PhD, Principal Research Fellow, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville,QLD 4811 Australia




Sharks & Rays - A new section added to this edition

Research has shown more than 30 species of sharks and rays are likely to be seen by divers in the Maldives. For the cartilaginous fishes, I have emphasized the historical context of the traditional shark fishery of the Maldives and recent developments in shark conservation, as well as identification, habitat, life history and distribution of species. Many taxonomic changes have occurred since the first edition of the book, Photo Guide to Fishes of the Maldives, was published in 1998 and these have been fully updated by the principle author, Rudie Kuiter. With the support of the IUCN, research groups, experienced divers and photographers in the Maldives, it is with great pleasure we are able to produce this book. I hope you enjoy it!

Tim Godfrey

Tim Godfrey


Tim Godfrey, co-author (sharks and rays) and publisher, started diving regularly while working as a journalist in Northwest Australia in 1983. He later travelled and worked on fishing boats and charter vessels in the Gulf of Carpentaria and Queensland and on abalone boats along Victoria’s Southwest coast, before working as a dive instructor and guide on safari boats in the Maldives in 1986. In 1996 he started Atoll Editions and self-published Dive Maldives, A Guide to the Maldives Archipelago; Malways, Maldives Island Directory (later published as Atlas of the Maldives) and Maldives Divers and Travellers Map. He later published Photo Guide to Fishes of the Maldives, by Rudie Kuiter in 1998 and Marine Life of the Maldives, by Neville Coleman in 1999. He completed a Bachelor Science (Marine Biology) degree at James Cook University, Qld in 2013.


A resource for conservation - Fishes of the Maldives Indian Ocean

The role of taxonomy in understanding and managing marine ecosystems is pivotal. Taxonomy provides basic and fundamental understanding of ecosystem components and units (biodiversity) that are important in its functioning, its maintenance and sustainable use. Without this understanding it is very difficult to conserve species through targeted management intervention. The loss of global marine biodiversity at an alarming rate means that difficult but important decisions have to be made now to protect species and their habitats. Consequently, accurate species identification in the field would allow more people to understand and appreciate coral reef fish. This Guide is a fundamental step forward in understanding and managing coral reef fish species of the Maldives.

Ameer Abdulla, PhD, Senior Advisor, Marine Biodiversity and Conservation Science, IUCN Global Marine and Polar Program, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science, University of Queensland, Australia



Rudie H. Kuiter


Rudie H. Kuiter, principle author (fishes) and photographer, has always had a passion for fishes. Dutch born, he started diving in Sydney, Australia, in 1964 and began drawing and photographing the various species, most of which were unknown at the time. As research associate with the Australian Museum and Museum of Victoria, scientific papers on biology and descriptions of new taxa were published. Articles on seahorses, seadragons and various other subject of aquatic life have appeared in magazines around the world. He is the author of the Indo-west Pacific. He has dived temperate and tropical around Australia, and in many parts of the Indo-Pacific as far as Japan and the Maldives. He moved to Melbourne in 1980, working full time on fishes.


This website and all publications shown have been created by Atoll Editions. For more publications visit:

Wholesalers can contact All content shown here is the intellectual property of Tim Godfrey & Rudie H. Kuiter. 
All words and images are copyright protected. Background image courtesy of: rottweiler