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Commercial Spearfishing

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.


Waiting for Summer!!!
May 28, 2002

How do you get into commercial spearing in South Africa ? Do you need a special licence or something ? I see that on my licence there is a clause that says no part of the stuff caught may be sold.

I'm really interested in this because I'm sick of my work.
Can someone tell me how to get into this and how the setup works. Do you do it freelance or do you work for a company?
I also would like to know the ruling prices for the fish per kilo and how much you could expect to make per month on average.( I know it depends on kilo's but how much is average.)

Thanks Reinier
Cape Town market is tough ...

There's not much in commercial spearfishing in CT at present ... and I doubt wether it will ever be viable. Well, it IS viable, but it won't make you rich.

The problem is that the species that you get frequently are either on the 'no-sale' list (Galjoen) or exploited by the fishing boats (Yellowtail) If you want to make money you've gotta take your 5 tail a day (he he he ... I've only seen that done twice in two years) or go DEEP and bring up the reds. A good place to start is Buffels Bay in the Point reserve - go there over weekends and ask for Bevan (He dives with a 1.6 RA and a 1.8 RA - you can't miss him. He's the one with the fish) and chat to him. Don't bother him if he's going in, he'll more than likely slap you silly. Get him when he's smoking outside on the grass. He'll be able to help you with market prices, hell, he'd buy fish off you if you've got decent ones.

Tail goes for around R30/kilo (sellers price) and Reds for about R45 ... but then again, reds are just about impossible to find shallower than 35m .....

What you can also do is go out with the Tunny guys on their boats, spend a week or so aboard, spear to your heart's content (most of the tunny guys won't take you along - be warned) and come back with +- 250 Kilos of prime Tuna steaks ..... worth R20 a kilo .... Or you can go after the rumoured marlin .......

Thanks Spearo for answers.
What about the rest of South-Africa ? Durban etc.
When are you coming down to CT again ?

I went spearing yesterday at Ganzekraal. It is up on the West Coast. About 45 Km from CT. Got 4 hotties. The vis was about 1.5m. Got the fish about 4m from shore. The fish was so curiuos that I shot 2 of them while they were about 10 cm from the point of the spear. Lekker

Cheers Reinier
Rest of SA?

Even better than CT .....

You get more variety .... I know of quite a few people who does it in East London .... one or two that pays their studies in Durbs ...

And then of course there's the crazy gang touring the East Coast of Africa (SA to Kenya) hunting billfish ... but tehy're real nutters.

Ever thought about being a guide?
lets say a poor spearo from Canada was to get to SA for a summer, between studies....

Could you pay for food/campsites by spearing? viable option for someone that wanted to wander the coast for a month or two? go backpacking? paid for my DM in Saudi Arabia by spearing, but the laws are pretty lax there...

Willer .... I don't think so. You'v gotta know the reefs and systems pretty well to make a living out of it. Plus the market's not all that good. You'd have to shoot around 15 Kg's of quality fish every day to survive. Personally I don't reckon you'd be able to do that if you don't know the reefs very well.

What you CAN do however is camp on the beach and spear your food. That's always an option ...

Awsome thread guys keep it going, and Sa spearo what are these Reds called in my country if you know. Im interested in deep fishes :D

Reds ...

I'm not too sure, Ivan. It's commonly called a Red Roman - but you also get reds that are called Englishman .... two different species, and I'm ashamed to say I don't know the scientific names ...

Sa spearo how deep are you hunting these days anyways. I might have to Pm you and ask some info about your DEEP diving ability.

It all depends ....

Last time I hunted (was about a month and a half ago) I was shore diving mostly, hunting anything between 2m and 15m, and I managed one boat dive, where I got down to around 40m but didn't get any fish. On the whole the whole trip was a waste, the only stringer of fish I got was eaten by a Johnny, I wasn't too impressed with that.

I'm off to Moz in a weeks time, got a boat and skipper going with as well, gonna be pretty cool. Then I'm organizing a DB trip in April, hang on a bit and we'll tell you more about it ...

So it all depends on how and where I dive ... if I've got a boat (not very often) I like to go foraging fairly deep, otherwise when shore diving I dive to the bottom. It's not really an issue of how deep one can dive, it's about where the fish are .... sigh.

Guinjata bay here I come !!!!!!!!!!!

It sure is more about where the fish are, but hey being able to dive to 40m to get a big fish cant hurt either. The thing is your not limited by depth to get a a good fish. In our local area usually when we linefish we fish at 30 -35m and this is where the biggest fish are to be caught and the biggest sharks :naughty . But unlike you Im limited to depth of 20m so I dont get the chance to chase these big fish in 30-35m so being able to hunt deep is a big advantage for ceratain species. Anyways I will pm you soon to ask some specific info if you dont mind.


Ps I want to come and dive with you Sa boys :cool:

SaSpearo - How can you get a licence to sell crayfish ? Do you have to apply for it and how much does it cost if it is possible at all ?

I know resturants are only allowed to buy crayfish from a licenced seller. In Doornbay there is a crayfish factory that buys crayfish from the locals @ R30 p\KG. How does the prise rise from 30 bucks to between R300 to R 500 in resturants ?

I have thought of being a crayfish diving Guide\Instructor. I want to take people on a weekend to places on the West-Coast and show them how to catch crayfish. I would provide the wetsuits and tents etc. I think a lot of people would like to try this. The problem with this is that the weather has to be nice. When people pay for something the want it. You have to guarantee that the water would be clean and flat. This is a problem on the West Coast.

Cheers Reinier

Got this from SpearfishingSA. There is no Latin Names. Tried to find it on the Internet No luck thus far.

Species Sub-Specie Smith Mass Spearo Union Year
Roman Red 183.11 4.57 T Botha WP 1993
Bug licence?

Hmph ... not in this lifetime. You need to apply to the fisheries dept, which takes around 6 months (forms out of print, closed for filing, closed for holidays, staff shortage, they somehow 'lost' your form ...) and then they'll tell you that this year they're only supplying licences to 'disadvantaged' people.

Bug diving's always good - if you've got a boat. Then you can tell the people the viz is good around 30m, where all the fa bugs are anyways :D

It's supply and demand, brother. They demand, you supply, they can tell their customers that it's very expensive and dangerous to get bugs, etc etc etc. As always it's the honest bloke trying to make a living that gets the short end of the broomstick.

Oh ja, Tommy Botha is STILL diving ... he just stopped submitting his catches to the Record books. Apparantly he shot a 35kg Tail off deep south reef in Dec ... Yikes!

One thing you have to keep in mind is the proper permits to start a guiding outfit (any type of guiding)

For example, you'll need public liabilty insurance for guiding people, and marine liability insurance for taking them diving. Around R 500 a month for both .... yikes again.

I've just applied for ANOTHER permit I need - a so-called cross border permit ... all it is is a permit that says you are allowed to cross the border with paying pax ... and it cost me almost 5 G's .... this is getting ridicolous.

ivan ... pm away.

Found the scientific name for Red Roman is .... Drum roll

Chryso belphus laticeps

phoned a guy from Dept of Sea fisheries.

Cheers Reinier
No luck on getting a commercial ticket in Natal . There are only a few issued and will always go to the same persons .
They are a pretty tight - knit bunch and you would have little chance of getting in as an outsider . You would need a pretty good established reputation and be well known to the locals .
When I commercialled in '93 with Tommy I had a one day tryout ; one of the boat team drowned that day and I got his slot ...
The money is good but a couple of months of it really kills the pleasure of hunting .
So are u back in Thailand dude ? Or still in holiday mode back home ?? We miss you....:D
Hey Iya ,
Yeah , got back yesterday . Great holiday but disappointing spearing , we had two cyclones off Madagascar which really screwed up the water . Not much to show and tell . :head
Hi Guys,

In Natal there is not a commercial spearfishing licence.

Some believed that the commercial fishing licence covered it but this is not the case. So fish speared can not be sold.

Rob Allen.
Gee , I guess this comes as a bit of a surprise to Giula P.
How did he get away with it for so long , or is this a recent development ?
Anyways , welcome on board Rob , good to have the Main Man to help bolster the pro - euro side ...:D
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