The Ocean’s Goldfish

The beautiful garibaldi fish is hard to miss as it swims in, out, and around the kelp forests of the Pacific Ocean. Clearly distinguishable by its bright orange body, heart-shaped tail fin, and crystal-blue eyes, this relative of the damselfish is a favorite amongst those diving off the west coast of the United States and Mexico. The only fish that may be more vibrant in the water is a garibaldi in its juvenile state. Deep orange in color and covered in electric blue spots, diving with juvenile garibaldi is always a treat.

Like all damselfish, male garibaldi are famous for aggressively defending their territory, which usually consists of eggs that a female has laid, and they fertilized. The best places to encounter garibaldi are on the shallow rocky reefs and kelp beds of California and Mexico’s coast, ranging from Monterey Bay south to Guadalupe Island. To discover the best dive sites to go diving with garibaldi, explore the map below.