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Competitive Spearfishing - Ethics or Pathetics??

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Whale sharks and Cobia


Last month while watching BBC i saw whale shark and some fishes around it.They mostly likes cobias (they were big).Possible?
Congrats Rig....170 feet of downward viz....:p . Whale shark ur first...he he he he....this I am not jelous. The first one ( and last ) I saw was hovering above me. I was holding on to a rock at 35 feet when I look up. A big 5-6 meter white belly and a profile of a shark, Damn, Great White !!!!! I thought, only when it turned on its side and I saw the dots and lines..............wheeewwwwwww...that was when my balls came back to normal shape. Anyone who saw a whale shark from the belly and all white must be unlucky....cause we get scared for nothing:head

Murat, those are Remora suckers on and around the whale shark....they sure look like Cobia at a glance. They too like to hang around near big rays.
But these are not like the ones that i observe on Mantas.And these are swimming independently not on the shark's skin.:confused:

It doesn't matter since i don't expect to see one...:eek:
Cobia can and do follow whale sharks, manta rays, or anything for that matter. Yeah it was a great day, Im still smiling ear to ear:D I didnt enter the whale shark b/c I am hand feeding him until next years rodeo...25 ft isnt big enough!:cool: Pictures should be developed tommorow and I'll let one of you techies walk me through posting them...everytime I try I scan it then try to attach it but it doesnt work...something to do with the format?:head
green with envy

Wow - just reading about your encounters with a whale shark are pretty damn cool!

I have to say though, from a rookie's point of view, I probably would have shit myself first and taken pictures later (no Sven - not of the shit :duh ).

Even though I know how harmless they are, just seeing something that enormous would be too much for me at this point.

GREAT to hear about it though! Thanks.

170ft vis

hi rig

170 feet vis thats awsome, the most ive seen on the GBR is 230ft vis vertically or 70m, and 100m horizontally. This was on the outer reef of course.

May u gentlemen stop talking of great viz, my drool bowl just overflowed...:D :p :confused: .......Wha ha ha ha.

When u scan, I think the scanner will save default as PSF file. Save as JPG. Also use the smallest resolution on the scanner, say 75 dpi, save download time and picture quality is sufficient. Other than that me too blind on computer....and I thought u can handle GPS , Charplotter , triple frequenzy Furuno sounder, MARPA Radars and Auto pilot.....geee.....:D :D
It’s my first post to the Forum but on a topic like this I wanted to add my thoughts.

As some background I am a keen social and competition spearo, I progressed through the “bubbly” stage (I hate to admit it), began social spearing and then got involved in competitions which has improved my spearing skills , fish knowledge and also satisfied a competitive urge.

This discussion (for want of a better term) began badly with a one sided opinion, the forum should be used to gather balanced opinions and generate helpful discussion (rather than to create “pissing contests") but the first post was provocative and unhelpful.

Now on to the issue at hand: I believe competitions are a great way to gain experience, catch a feed of fish, as well as satisfying that competitive urge. Competitions should be held responsibly however, in Victoria we use the Australian National regulations which has a maximum of one eligible fish weighed in per specie, a 100 point per fish system plus 10 points per kilo – this acts as a disincentive to catching more than one fish of each species as the points don’t warrant it, and obviously we have minimum weights which in most cases are well above the legal limits (“shadowkillers” comment on barely legal fish, is therefore divisive and un-informed, many competitions also have penalties where the weight is under the competition limits). Shore based competitions start and end from a designated spot but during the comp (which are up to 6 hours) divers are free to go as far as they like, this should help to reduce the effect on the area. And in boat comp’s divers can again go where ever they like.

Due to the restrictive species list I usually catch less fish (and a wider range of species) than I would if I was just going for a feed of fish. So there may be an argument that there is less impact on a wider range of species.

Not all competitions are as restrictive as this however. I don’t know a great deal about competitions and fishing conditions outside of Aus. but I do believe the above system is very conservative, and can be used as a basis of reforming other systems that aren’t as conservative.

Happy hunting

Aussie Spearo
Originally posted by Aussie spearo
“shadowkillers” comment on barely legal fish, is therefore divisive and un-informed,
My coment may well be divisive but hardly uninformed. As I stated the pics (from a victorian spearos personal collection) I have seen (including victorian comps) shows some pretty poor fish indeed. Fish I would not bother with because they do not come up to my personal standards. Indeed I have been witness to one comp in Tathra several years ago where several divers were busy measuring fish and throwing them back into the water.. Back then I didnt know what they were doing, but I do now! I also know one older spearo who fondly recalls how he used to shoot rock cale in comps by the dozen. Not that he ever ate one he hastened to add..

Please dont assume that simply because someone has an opinion different to yours that they are uninformed. Furthemore my observations are my own, you cannot claim that a particluar set of rules means that those observations are wrong. I am fully aware of the rules governing the state and national titles in Australia but find them distasteful anyway. I am much more in favour of comps targeting pelagic species which reproduce much faster than reef fish, and therefore represent a more sustainable prey. Of course the majority of fisheries (Kingfish, Tuna etc) in Australia are overfished anyway but I doubt whether a spearing comp can even come close to one long liner or trawler. I however will never compete, prefering instead to keep my spearing a non-competitive, relaxing experience.

That is my informed, considered opinion.

Sources include: Mr J Cromwell, Melbourne and the 2000 NSW Fisheries report.
Reference is made to a comp in Tathra "several years" ago and then to "one older spearo who recalls" shooting rock cale by the dozen. This is a long bow to draw between what took place some time ago ("or several years ago" as stated) and what is occuring today, rock cale have not been on the species list for many years so I can see no relevance in this comment to current practices.

Quite offen we have the fisheries inspectors at the competitions, I suggest if you do see fish that you think are undersized call them as anyone who takes undersized fish deserves to be caught.

Granted some practices in the past I do not agree with either, however most of these are no longer occuring, because people in the competetive spearfishing community have made the choice and taken action to clean up these practices. There are still areas that need further improvements both in competetive and social spearfishing and it is much easier to make these improvements from within than from the sidelines.

Sounds like a much more constructive approach to me than drawing analygies between spearfishing competitions and to pigeon shooting back in the fifites.
Originally posted by Aussie spearo
Sounds like a much more constructive approach to me than drawing analygies between spearfishing competitions and to pigeon shooting back in the fifites.

sorry, but i totally agree w/ shadowkiller on this. where i'm from, there's awful tastes left in the mouths of bistanders who see a slaughter of countless fish. what's worse is when you take a peek at the shots on the fish and then the carcasses. so little time seems to be spent cleaning the fish and most have spear holes all over the body. seems like a pathetic waste of our resources if you ask me, although i'm not too fond of pidgeons either. ;)

i think this goes beyond the comp level again, though. this has to do w/ everyone and "elitists" shouldn't be donned as a caption for comp spearos, either.

aussie spearo, i do agree w/ your thoughts on the facility of changing from w/in than from the sidelines a bit. i assume you're referring to competitors changing the way they hunt or conduct comps. just remember that a few bad apples can ruin our sport in a heartbeat(comp/or rec). florida got shark feeding banned because of the media(no facts involved, ALL media), so who's to say someone's not about to get hold of some nasty images (cubandiver) and run w/ it? :confused: we ALL just have to be careful. and remember, there are many more readers here than just the members.

also, we'd appreciate it if you'd back your own thoughts up rather than slander someone elses, please/thank you. i see comps turning around, so please let them keep turning w/o tempting a feud b/w the recreationals.


I was refering to competitors changing the way they conduct comps and also refering to social spearfishing. There are good and bad practices in all aspects of the sport, a specific example was a protected blue groper that was shot by a recreational spearo at Clovally, the media (even the politicians got involved)ran with this story and there was a lot of negative publicity.

Granted this must have been someone inexperienced as any one with any sense / knowledge wouldn't have done it. We all have a part to play here in educating new divers.

I thought I was being quite specific (backup of my thoughts) in describing the process for competitions in Victoria. Some of the practices that have been improved include: a more restrictive species list, all fish are either used by divers, given to local charities or auctioned to the public with the proceeds going to charity, we try to use a wide variety of locations to minimise any impact there may be. I'm not saying that it's a perfect system but it's an ongoing process of improvement.

Comp's and spearfishing generally is turning around, pubilc opinion in regards to spearfishing is improving, but as you stated those few bad apples and mis-information can spoil this. We all need to play our part here.
Originally posted by Aussie spearo

This discussion (for want of a better term) began badly with a one sided opinion, the forum should be used to gather balanced opinions and generate helpful discussion (rather than to create “pissing contests") but the first post was provocative and unhelpful.

Welcome to the forum, AS.
Opinions (in my opinion :D ) usually state the originator's view thereby inviting response ;to either agree or provide your own opinion - the other "side" . That way we get a balanced view and generate helpful discussion It might have been a nice touch if YOU added that above quote was YOUR opinion rather than a statement of fact ?
I am of the opinion that the first post was quite successful in provoking all the responses ...;)
As Abri so nicely put it: These are our opinions. Just as Aussie Spearos posts are opinions. I'm all for a more tightly regulated comps but still dont like them. The Tathra incident and Rock Cale shooting serves to illustrate the mind set of SOME competition spearos. The majority I'm sure are nice guys who dont care wether they win or lose as long as they have a good time.

And Im glad that from your observations you have seen the tightened rules reduce the amount of fish taken but improved the quality of those fish. They have haven't they? I assume that is what the rules were for anyway.

But I dont believe that those rules will always be followed just like the laws that govern our everyday lives and other sports are routinely broken. It would be nice to se no one speeding on our roads and no one cheating in sporting comps but it isnt going to happen.

And I see no problem with likening spearfishing for the sake of winning some trophy to live pigeon shooting. Both involve(d) killing animals to WIN. Not for the thrill of the hunt, because that is reward enough by itself, but to win some meaningless little status symbol. If that is something people want to do its their *insert deity of choice* given right to do so. As long as they recognise it for what it is.

If you want to compete be my guest. I dont think any less of people who do, unless they start thinking that they are some how better than the rest of us. And no-one in this forum has struck me as such a person yet.

ps Aussie Spearo: If youre interested check out www.spearfishing.com.au and our forum there. I dont think we have anyone from Victoria yet, mainly NSW, QLD and WA spearos.
gday all
im a newbie at speardebating but my opinion for what it is worth (and mostly because i like the sound of my own voice/keyboard)
is that
a) A competition can be run well or it can be run poorly
b) A fool will be a fool whether it is in a competitive or recreational setting (probably more likely to be caught in a competitive setting though!)
c)rules of a comp may not be followed - but then the same applies to recreational spearing.
d) people who "spear to win" are quite likely to be involved in the "sport" because they enjoy spearfishing not just to add trophies to the mantlepiece
e) the media suck generally and i agree that comps allow for easier media access to the sport

so theres my 2c
ive never competed but would like to someday - seems like an interesting way to meet new spearos / see new places
The thrill of a plastic trophy will never match the thrill of a trophy fish for me however.
it really comes down to all of us realizing that we are THE majority of the sport and in turn, acting responsibly when out on the water(lord knows i don't on land :D ).

aquiles and i are running a few comps at kk'03. for one comp, the winners are the ones that prepare the best tasting dishes w/ the fish they catch. this gets complicated because most of our fish here taste a bit different at different sizes, so selection is key. ;) then it takes the culinary skill to get that fish tasting it's best. :p

as an example of good gone bad, at kk'02 we had a couple dozen spanish lobster on the cleaning table and someone called the cops on us because they thought they were undersized lobster and just "way" too many. the spanish lobster do not have any size limit, nor bag limit, but these people assumed it must be illegal. we were out of there before the cops arrived, but i went back to talk to them when they did show. the officer kinda rolled his eyes, apologized for the idiot who squealed and left. this just goes to show that even though you're intentionally staying way w/in the limits of the law, bistanders can still ruin your day just because they don't know any better. there's a lot of people who "don't know any better" but will call it as they see it. to these people, a couple of guns w/ a couple of fish still looks awful compared to a couple of fishing rods and tons of fish. :head

keep the faith, and welcome to the fold, aussie spearo. :cool:

Gee Chief, someone called the cops on u guys when they do not know anything about that Spanish lobster regulation.....and so on ???.

I think there could be only one possibility.....

Ur lobsters when cooked smell so good and they who reported, did not get invited to KK02 and drool so much, they got to call the cops and spoiled ur day.

Do U need to borrow my MT#0 and and pretend the trigger mis-fired while u accidentaly have the muzzle aimed at those boy's ass....:D :D

Thanks God I spear for personal food and not some competition..... it seems it is so complex.... my my...:confused:
New solution to overfishing: Call Iya and he can get medieval on their arse..:D

Now if only we could get him onto the gulf of mexico to go after those trawlers that use driftnets..:D