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Is Spearfishing a Sport?

Is spearfishing a sport or underwater hunting?

  • Spearfishing is a sport!

    Votes: 17 26.6%
  • Spearfishing is underwater hunting!

    Votes: 47 73.4%

  • Total voters
    64
A

artiz

Guest
Over the last few months I have discovered that many spearfishing threads, posts & members (particularly newbies) appear to assume that spearfishing is indeed unquestionably a sport. I'm under the impression that sport necessitates equal competitive elements & only between people. Regardless of human controlled conditions like competitions this is arguably not the case with spearfishing... ocean life has no access to technology! The Hunting is/not a Sport debate is a controversial & exhaustive one but currently spearfishing in particular appears to stand somewhat alone within these debates? The poll is deliberately reduced to only 2 choices, there is no grey area here, a conclusive decision should be made - it's either a sport or underwater hunting?
Perhaps Spearo's on this forum are well placed/should decide for ourselves how we regard, describe or define spearfishing as an attempt to dispel any condemnations & accusations of hypocrisy.


Perhaps the real debate is 'how' we hunt?
 
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BatRay

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I'm under the impression that sport necessitates equal competitive elements & only between people.
I've never seen sports defined as something that included only people vs people, or any mention of technology. Definitions usually list hunting as an example, and fishing as another. Hunting and fishing equipment are sold in sporting goods stores, so I don't see why they would be excluded.
 

Scoobaru

Well-Known Member
Jun 7, 2010
909
138
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Weymouth
Also people compete against each other, there are different disciplines (deep divers, shallow divers, night divers etc) and generally there is a sporting manner where most people don't shoot fish that are near others and if your buddy has shot a big fish you lend them your gun if required for the kill shot, hence sportsmanship lol
 

spudguncat

Well-Known Member
Jul 15, 2010
162
30
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43
Preston, England
My Personal opinion is that KILLING anything for sport is seriously uncool!!!:naughty:rcard

Killing for the table is different.

Spearfishing has all the discapline of sport physical and mental. But once its defined as a sport all becomes fare game and needlessly fish are shot so someone can say i got more/bigger than you!

A fish can be outwitted and the spearo have piece of mind that the fish was theirs without pulling the trigger at everything that moves just to tip the scales.

Underwater paintball is the future so we can see all the fish that have already been slottedrofl
 
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artiz

Guest
I've never seen sports defined as something that included only people vs people, or any mention of technology. Definitions usually list hunting as an example, and fishing as another. Hunting and fishing equipment are sold in sporting goods stores, so I don't see why they would be excluded.
I would say that underwater hunting is a sport.
So spearfishing is a sport. :)
Also people compete against each other, there are different disciplines (deep divers, shallow divers, night divers etc) and generally there is a sporting manner where most people don't shoot fish that are near others and if your buddy has shot a big fish you lend them your gun if required for the kill shot, hence sportsmanship lol
Thanks for your contributions here...

1. In the whole gamut of sporting enterprise where does 'killing' fit into sporting principles or ethics?
2. Why would people want to define hunting (killing) as sport unless there were ulterior motives involved and hence hypocrisy?
3. The human is easily the most successful predator on the planet due in no uncertain terms to our tool/weapon use - our use of technology places us far & beyond any other living species making us custodians not competitors or sporting adversaries... so where are the sporting principles, ethics or indeed competition in hunting - other than against each other regarding how many animals we kill?
For me that's not sport - I hunt for my food as efficiently & ethically as I can and as equipped as I am... there's no sport involved?
 
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podge

Always Hungry
May 16, 2006
6,225
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somerset U.K.
Spearfishing is hardly a game of catch and release, having said that the sport could be in getting close enough to the fish for the kill to take place, although once close enough the “sport” would become the “hunt”.
So for me it’s a bit of both, “sport” and “hunt”.
That and I just like to be there in the water with the fish and if one or two come a little to close then all the better for me.:)
 
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artiz

Guest
I've never seen sports defined as something that included only people vs people, or any mention of technology.
Your observation kind of proves the point in a roundabout way. Sport is an exclusively human concept so how can animals 'be in the game'. I can understand the concept of 'competitive hunting' without agreeing with it or taking part, but defining hunting as a sport allows an hypocritical camouflage of 'killing for pleasure' & spearfishing, in my opinion, agreeing with spudguncat, we should now reject that kind of deception?
 
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Scoobaru

Well-Known Member
Jun 7, 2010
909
138
98
30
Weymouth
Thanks for your contributions here...

1. In the whole gamut of sporting enterprise where does 'killing' fit into sporting principles or ethics?
2. Why would people want to define hunting (killing) as sport unless there were ulterior motives involved and hence hypocrisy?
3. The human is easily the most successful predator on the planet due in no uncertain terms to our tool/weapon use - our use of technology places us far & beyond any other living species making us custodians not competitors or sporting adversaries... so where are the sporting principles, ethics or indeed competition in hunting - other than against each other regarding how many animals we kill?
For me that's not sport - I hunt for my food as efficiently & ethically as I can and as equipped as I am... there's no sport involved?
Ah i thought you meant as in an olympic sport, in which case i see no reason it could not be classified as a sport as that is just a progression of competitions. But now you've put it that way I understand your way of thinking. And I agree with you, I personally spearfish to provide me and my family with fresh fish free of charge. I will not kill fish for the sake of it and only shoot fish I know will be eaten. I enjoy swimming with the fishes and watching them in their natural habitat without having the urge to shoot them. But if a fish is big enough for tea and I know someone will enjoy eating it then I will shoot it.

That's my personal take on my hobby, whether its regarded as a sport or not
 

bura

Active Member
Jul 9, 2012
39
4
38
Croatia
Your observation kind of proves the point in a roundabout way. Sport is an exclusively human concept so how can animals 'be in the game'. I can understand the concept of 'competitive hunting' without agreeing with it or taking part, but defining hunting as a sport allows an hypocritical camouflage of 'killing for pleasure' & spearfishing, in my opinion, agreeing with spudguncat, we should now reject that kind of deception?
What about Polo? Horses are in the game. :D I understood what you thought when you wrote this.
But in my country if you want go spearfishing you must have licence, and licence is for "Sport fishing". You may go from sunrise till sunset and without the apparatus for autonomous underwater breathing. These are rules of the game.
On that way you give fish a chance (without scuba tanks and spearfishing only in the daytime).

And yes, I am absolutely against killing fish just for fun. My opinion is that spearfishing is a sport from which you may have certain benefit - fresh fish for you and your family.
 
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artiz

Guest
That's my personal take on my hobby, whether its regarded as a sport or not
I believe that most Spearo's would agree with your sound principles here. However your last comment is really the crux of the debate. If spearfishing is regarded in 'any form' as a sport then we are tarnished with the same brush as found in the 'hunting is sport' debate.
I personally object to those 'guilty by association' assumptions when spearfishing is described or defined as a sport and very much agree with dimitris33's statement and of course its finality.
When the sport monicker is casually applied to spearfishing the social affect is negative and similar to the feelings and condemnation directed towards Fox Hunting in the UK for example.
I get the impression that if spearfishing can eradicate any association with sport then the ethical and conservation principles regularly expressed throughout this forum will firstly not appear hypocritical in any way at all and secondly allow everyone to be under no illusions about what we are actually doing. We are not there for sport we're there to catch food and with that come's custodial responsibilities, conservation, sound principles and environmental care?
 
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artiz

Guest
A bit of further forward thinking may also help here.
This thread is not a bash at competition spearfishing or hunting. Although we all have our own thoughts regarding both they are just not applicable to this thread. The discussion is more about what happens when sport is associated, described or used to define spearfishing. It necessitates thoughts & judgements and consequential condemnation about spearfishing & the people who spearfish - which are largely unjustified - particularly when the majority of comments and posts on this forum are taken into consideration!
If we continue to allow sport to be associated with spearfishing then we only have ourselves to blame when/if the UK for instance adopts European restrictions & regulations (see bura's post above) for the soft target of the incorrectly defined 'sport' of spearfishing?
Whereas underwater hunting in the ocean for food, for myself & my family can be defined as a basic human right and could therefore be lawfully and legitimately argued as such, mainly because its true.
 
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bura

Active Member
Jul 9, 2012
39
4
38
Croatia
In my country spearfishers are always described as some sort of "sea cleaners". Lot's of people talk about us "they caught all the fish", "before them we had fish", "since the spearguns came there is no more fish"... Spearfishing and poaching is same for them. If they see speargun, it is spearfisher.

They also see somebody on the photography with one big fish and then they have wrong picture about spearfishing. They don't know that catch like this is one in a few years, or maybe one in a lifetime.

There is also expensive equipment, boat costs, time spent... Fish caught in spearfishing is usually very expensive. Because of that they can give you fishing rod and say "catch for food if that is your human right".
 
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BatRay

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1. In the whole gamut of sporting enterprise where does 'killing' fit into sporting principles or ethics?
2. Why would people want to define hunting (killing) as sport unless there were ulterior motives involved and hence hypocrisy?
3. The human is easily the most successful predator on the planet due in no uncertain terms to our tool/weapon use - our use of technology places us far & beyond any other living species making us custodians not competitors or sporting adversaries... so where are the sporting principles, ethics or indeed competition in hunting - other than against each other regarding how many animals we kill?
Considering the tone of these questions, I have to ask; do you really want to know? Or rather, have you come to the Spearo Board to try and tell us that spearfishing is an awful thing to do? A bit of clarification would save us dancing around the issue.
 
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artiz

Guest
Considering the tone of these questions, I have to ask; do you really want to know? Or rather, have you come to the Spearo Board to try and tell us that spearfishing is an awful thing to do? A bit of clarification would save us dancing around the issue.
You need to read my responses again here. I think I have made it very clear I am an underwater hunter and calling spearfishing a sport has consequences both currently and in the future. You've got hold of the wrong end of the stick!
 
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BatRay

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I must beg your pardon. I take phone calls all day from people who think hunting is wrong in all forms, and that's what I thought you were saying. I got down to your third post or so and got all fired up.
 

BatRay

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Your observation kind of proves the point in a roundabout way. Sport is an exclusively human concept so how can animals 'be in the game'. I can understand the concept of 'competitive hunting' without agreeing with it or taking part, but defining hunting as a sport allows an hypocritical camouflage of 'killing for pleasure' & spearfishing, in my opinion, agreeing with spudguncat, we should now reject that kind of deception?
It's hard to avoid defining hunting as a sport when it is a prime example of a sporting event, dating from when society shifted to agrarian food production. I think rejecting the deception simply requires education. The public has developed some well-meaning but misguided ideas on hunting and spearfishing. They lump the competitive hunters and spearos with the responsible spearos and hunters, and they need to know the difference.
 
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artiz

Guest
It's hard to avoid defining hunting as a sport when it is a prime example of a sporting event, dating from when society shifted to agrarian food production. I think rejecting the deception simply requires education. The public has developed some well-meaning but misguided ideas on hunting and spearfishing. They lump the competitive hunters and spearos with the responsible spearos and hunters, and they need to know the difference.
You are right of course but for me the time for education or justifying hunting as 'sport' has probably expired due to our ancestors unforgivable excesses in the name of 'sport', together with an enduring hypocritical insistence of many modern day hunters that hunting is indeed sport? I think the point I'm trying to make is that 'honesty is (now probably!) the best policy' and in particular for spearfishing. Geography (where you live) is certainly an influential factor, but nonetheless I think hunting in general (for food) would eventually benefit if it did not continue to associate itself with sport!
I suppose its much like pescatarians associating themselves with vegetarianism.... its clearly BS!
If we continue to hunt underwater in a responsible, thoughtful, caring & transparent manner and stop calling it a sport... we can perhaps avoid accusations of hypocrisy as well as condemnation, regulation and scrutiny. We can also say that as an individual Spearo my hunting is the most sustainable way to take life from the ocean for mine and my family and friends consumption. People who buy sea life from their local supermarket (store) most definitely cannot!
 
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bura

Active Member
Jul 9, 2012
39
4
38
Croatia
You are right of course but for me the time for education or justifying hunting as 'sport' has probably expired due to our ancestors unforgivable excesses in the name of 'sport', together with an enduring hypocritical insistence of many modern day hunters that hunting is indeed sport? I think the point I'm trying to make is that 'honesty is (now probably!) the best policy' and in particular for spearfishing. Geography (where you live) is certainly an influential factor, but nonetheless I think hunting in general (for food) would eventually benefit if it did not continue to associate itself with sport!
I suppose its much like pescatarians associating themselves with vegetarianism.... its clearly BS!
If we continue to hunt underwater in a responsible, thoughtful, caring & transparent manner and stop calling it a sport... we can perhaps avoid accusations of hypocrisy as well as condemnation, regulation and scrutiny. We can also say that as an individual Spearo my hunting is the most sustainable way to take life from the ocean for mine and my family and friends consumption. People who buy sea life from their local supermarket (store) most definitely cannot!

I would not declare spearfishing as uderwater hunting or as an sport. It is not problem if we declare spearfishing as a sport. Real problem is in people heads which condemn spearfishers.And why?? We may catch 5 kg of fish + capital per day. As I already said without scuba equipment and only by day. People are wathcing spearfishers who are catching more then a 5 kg per day, they are watching scuba divers with spearguns, they are watching scuba divers catching fish during night. And then they put them in the same basket with us. They put poachers and real spearfishers which are paying their licences and who abide by the rules in the same basket. Then they are saying "all" spearfishers this or that. Somebody who is catching with a driftnet in one catch can catch more then a few spearfishers in a lifetime. What about that?

That is what people are saying. We are less "dangerous" for rest of fishing population if we are declared as athletes then "cleaners of the sea"(the "population" that has an impact on legislation). Belive me because I know.

Sorry because of my bad english. I hope that you can understand writen. :king
 
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