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17/07/2015
Top 10 Tips When Trigger Fish Attack

Whenever Trigger Fish Attack, that is to say, if they attack, these Top 10 Trigger Fish Tips Could be useful!

On the positive side you may ultimately avoid a trigger attack altogether by following these simple tips.

All things considered, the Titan Triggerfish is known as the most aggressive and pushy fish you can encounter!
 Because we often here stories of Titan's attacking, chasing, ramming divers in addition to nibbling and biting at fins. Although this may be true I think there is an irony that most non-divers (and unfortunately many divers as well) harbor fears about sharks and creatures of the deep but would approach a Titan Trigger fish without a seconds thought! Ok, so they are not always aggressive and on the attack, at the same time it's important to realize these are highly territorial fish who, in any event, definitely protect their territory, thus should be taken very seriously. In the light of our own recent dive trip to Palau Sipadan (where we encountered a Trigger Attack), for this reason we wanted to share some research with our readers about Triggerfish and their behavior when trigger fish attack!
Top 10 Tips When Trigger Fish Attack

#1 - Territory Isn't Just a Nest

While it is usually noted that Trigger fish only attack when you are in the territory where they are protecting their nests, this may not be true, as many trigger fish attack report indicate aggression against territorial intruders even during non nesting seasons. Titans nest in the sand adjacent to or within the corals. They will protect these nests with a dedication that is practically never seen from other fish species.

#2 - Know Your Enemy

The largest member of the Trigger fish family and also one of the most photogenic is the mighty Titan Triggerfish, They range in size from 15 - 30 inches. Their marking patterns are comprised of green, yellow, blue and gray, with black fin tips. Titan Trigger fish feed on hard coral, crustaceans and invertebrates, They have large specialized teeth that are clearly designed for chomping on these food sources, their teeth look something similar to a Rabbits.

#3 - Watch and Observe

Usually whilst cruising reef areas that are known to have Triggerfish, you will encounter a solitary Titan. Like most of the other reef fish, they are most active during the day and will tuck themselves into the reef to sleep at night. Understanding what is part of the nesting behavior and territorial nature is an important part of avoiding problematic situations which may cause a trigger fish attack

#4 - Don't Pick a Fight

For the purpose of common sense, surely no one would normally harass any aquatic life, given that we are scuba divers. For the most part i'm sure its true, at the same time ive seen divers approach and even chase trigger fish in front of me. All of a sudden they are left wondering why they were immediately attacked. In the final analysis, you cant teach stupid.

#5 - Know Your Danger Zone


The "danger zone" is a cone shaped area directly above the triggerfish nest

Specifically, it extends all the way from the seabed by the nest up to the surface. With this in mind, if you trespass in the middle Trigger fish nesting zone, in spite of even knowing, you then ultimately find yourself with an aggressive male charging you or trying to eat your fins! Ask you local dive guide to clarify areas of reef known for trigger activity with this in mind.
Top 10 Triggerfish Tips - Danger Zone

#6 - Don't Go Up

For one thing, ascending will surely not stop the Trigger fish in its pursuit of you. As shown above, to evade its territory and by all means its attacks, you must swim horizontally away and totally exits its territorial zone. ( and by the way I should also mention, not only must you exit the attacking trigger fishes zone but also check you haven't just swim into another!) I have spend dives where its seems i'm under constant attack from one corner of the reef to the next during the nesting seasons)

#7 - Keep an Eye Wide

Try to keep your eyes on the Triggerfish at all times, perhaps it is easier said than done, as these fish race about in spurts of intense speed. Keep your camera or fins between you and the fish if at all possible. Better to have a hole in fins than your body! Hardcore underwater photographers will tell you to grab that click of the trigger fish whilst its attacking you! but we will be responsible and suggest perhaps focus on not being harmed.

#8 - Don't be a Hero

In view of the present day Go Pro video camera trend and selfie sticks, for this reason, I have to say "Dont Be a Hero". For the most part, a majority of trigger attacks with attention to Go Pro's, consequently could have be avoided in my opinion. By all means, taking your footage is fine provided that you don't stick that selfy stick in a Titans face and on the whole be vigilant when filming triggers.

#9 - Triggers Are Not Evil


Some Triggerfish Are Really Chilled Out and Friendly
Not all Trigger fish are evil! Yes, some will attack to protect their territory, sometimes you maybe see aggressive approaches design to direct you out of the nesting zone like an agitated dog may do with a bowl of food. Just remember - you are not really being "attacked" The trigger is only defending its territory, which you (unknowingly) invaded. Don't blame the Trigger fish. we are the guest in the underwater realm and hold no claims.
Top 10 Trigger Fish Tips Clown Trigger Fish Sipadan

#10 - Know Your Best Defense

Just hanging around making a safety stop and you may just feel a bump on your fins. Upon turning around you may discover a pesky trigger having a good old chew on your jetfin. This happened to me in the video below. At first I just thought ok, let it be and I swam along the reef to attempt to leave its ‘zone’ only to find it followed me and keep coming back time and time again. Moving away is always your best defense, but if, like in my case, it keeps coming at you. remember it's better to keep your feet in a position where it will take a chunk from your fins and not you!

Have you had a Trigger Fish Attack?
Got Any Advice or Tips To Share?
Comment below and Let us Know

Andrew Jennings
Andrew Jennings
You host and creator of underwater clicks.