Thursday, May 23, 2019
  • Welcome to the DeeperBlue.com Forums, the largest online community dedicated to Freediving, Scuba Diving and Spearfishing. To gain full access to the DeeperBlue.com Forums you must register for a free account. As a registered member you will be able to:

    • Join over 40,000+ fellow diving enthusiasts from around the world on this forum
    • Participate in and browse from over 496,000+ posts.
    • Communicate privately with other divers from around the world.
    • Post your own photos or view from 7,300+ user submitted images.
    • All this and much more...

    You can gain access to all this absolutely free when you register for an account, so sign up today!

Is Spearfishing a Sport?

Is spearfishing a sport or underwater hunting?

  • Spearfishing is a sport!

    Votes: 17 25.8%
  • Spearfishing is underwater hunting!

    Votes: 49 74.2%

  • Total voters
    66
OP
OP
A

artiz

Guest
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 pearfishers 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
bura your English is outstanding so no problems there.
I understand your point, you are saying that if the wider population in your country sees spearfishing as a sport or spearo's as athletes then the overall perception of spearfishing would improve from its current status as viewing spearo's as 'cleaners of the sea'... which would be exactly the deception that I am objecting to.
Your country with its regulation (licensing) of spearfishing has done exactly what I'm hoping to avoid here in the UK. Spearfishing under the guise of sport probably originated in the Med and disguising it historically as a sport clearly didn't do you guys any favors. Spearfishing is now widely accepted as one of the most sustainable ways to take life from the sea and if we in the UK continue to allow spearfishing to be associated hypocritically with sport rather than coming clean as underwater hunters & accepting/promoting the responsibility it entails... we could well end up in the same situation as spearo's in your part of the world. Where it seems that the past association (and all that comes with it) with sport has created your so called 'sport fishing license'... and yes that seems very unfair when its totally obvious that it was commercial overfishing that actually raped the Med and most probably nothing to do with spearfishing. You have my sympathies!
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • Like
Reactions: Kodama

bura

Active Member
Jul 9, 2012
39
4
38
Croatia
I completely agree with your last post. BTW my part of the world is Croatia. :)
Laws such as these have been issued to stop the devastation of the sea but they definitely hit the wrong group of fishermens.
We are definitely to blame in some segments. Pictures of overfishing, pictures of big fish without description, etc. are in a way culprit to this stories about spearfishers.

If you want to change something, or in your case to stop negative changes, then definitely eduacation of the people, studies, state of commercial fish stocks with regard to spearfishing and fight for your rights.
 
  • Like
Reactions: artiz

Kars

Well-Known Member
Oct 24, 2003
3,443
566
203
41
The Netherlands
www.freeapnea.nl
From an online dictionary Sport | Define Sport at Dictionary.com :

sport
   [spawrt, spohrt]
noun

1.
an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc.
2.
a particular form of this, especially in the out of doors.
3.
diversion; recreation; pleasant pastime.
4.
jest; fun; mirth; pleasantry: What he said in sport was taken seriously.
5.
mockery; ridicule; derision: They made sport of him.
6.
an object of derision; laughingstock.
7.
something treated lightly or tossed about like a plaything.
8.
something or someone subject to the whims or vicissitudes of fate, circumstances, etc.
9.
a sportsman.
10.
Informal . a person who behaves in a sportsmanlike, fair, or admirable manner; an accommodating person: He was a sport and took his defeat well.
11.
Informal . a person who is interested in sports as an occasion for gambling; gambler.
12.
Informal . a flashy person; one who wears showy clothes, affects smart manners, pursues pleasurable pastimes, or the like; a bon vivant.
13.
Biology . an organism or part that shows an unusual or singular deviation from the normal or parent type; mutation.
14.
Obsolete . amorous dalliance.


I think the answer is dependent on the intention of the partitioner.

- If you go down to find yourself some real good food, then it's hunting.
- If you go down to enjoy the challenge, then it's a sport.



But maybe your real question is to find out the spearfishers intention?​
 
Last edited:

BatRay

Forum Mentor
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Nov 1, 2002
4,808
611
203
38
Central California
Exactly my point, Kars. The key is to present spearfishing as a sustainable activity, responsible activity and to emphasize that responsible spearos should not be penalized for the actions of those who are irresponsible. If you're in a position to be a spokesman, focus on that instead of arguing semantics.

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!
How would this be beneficial? All that it would do is to concede a point to people who think that hunting is wrong. True, the excesses of the past are regrettable. That's why modern resource management exists. That's why we have bag limits, seasons, tags, and so forth. It's not a free-for-all out there. These things are based on closely-monitored population models. If too many animals are being taken, the limit drops. If the population can withstand more hunting pressure, the limit can increase. If people want information, they ought to have this information. If anything, it would help point out the real issue, which is that many people have an emotional, gut-level, negative reaction to hunting, and they ought to question it.

It is not hypocritical to refer to hunting as a sport when it is included in the definition of the word. It would, however, be hypocritical to say that there is no enjoyable element in hunting. Many people hunt for food and they also enjoy that. So what? The two do not have to be mutually exclusive. It's nobody's business if a responsible hunter or spearo obeys the law and happens to enjoy hunting and spearfishing.

Forestry is another activity that has received a lot of bad press due to the excesses of the past, and the bad memories are far from forgotten. However, that doesn't mean we should stop all forest management. It means we should redefine forestry as a modern, responsible practice. The same should be done with hunting and spearfishing.
 
OP
OP
A

artiz

Guest
I think the answer is dependent on the intention of the partitioner.

- If you go down to find yourself some real good food, then it's hunting.
- If you go down to enjoy the challenge, then it's a sport.

But maybe your real question is to find out the spearfishers intention?
Yup, you're probably right Kars but Number 7 looks to be the most applicable definition:- 7. something treated lightly or tossed about like a plaything... and the final result within a couple of years will be a very expensive European wide spearfishing 'sports' license with no night spearfishing allowed as found in Croatia and you can only take 2 Bass in 24 hours but not in May & June as found in Ireland since 2011?
All of these regulations & worse are already being considered at some level across Europe so we only have ourselves to blame when they are implemented and we did nothing to avoid them?
 
OP
OP
A

artiz

Guest
Exactly my point, Kars. The key is to present spearfishing as a sustainable activity, responsible activity and to emphasize that responsible spearos should not be penalized for the actions of those who are irresponsible. If you're in a position to be a spokesman, focus on that instead of arguing semantics.



How would this be beneficial? All that it would do is to concede a point to people who think that hunting is wrong. True, the excesses of the past are regrettable. That's why modern resource management exists. That's why we have bag limits, seasons, tags, and so forth. It's not a free-for-all out there. These things are based on closely-monitored population models. If too many animals are being taken, the limit drops. If the population can withstand more hunting pressure, the limit can increase. If people want information, they ought to have this information. If anything, it would help point out the real issue, which is that many people have an emotional, gut-level, negative reaction to hunting, and they ought to question it.

It is not hypocritical to refer to hunting as a sport when it is included in the definition of the word. It would, however, be hypocritical to say that there is no enjoyable element in hunting. Many people hunt for food and they also enjoy that. So what? The two do not have to be mutually exclusive. It's nobody's business if a responsible hunter or spearo obeys the law and happens to enjoy hunting and spearfishing.

Forestry is another activity that has received a lot of bad press due to the excesses of the past, and the bad memories are far from forgotten. However, that doesn't mean we should stop all forest management. It means we should redefine forestry as a modern, responsible practice. The same should be done with hunting and spearfishing.
You've made some good points here Batray but they're a bit muddied by your obvious participation in land hunting in the U.S. I have unsuccessfully been trying to avoid that debate because it has no real bearing for either spearfishing or hunting in the UK and just confuses the issue I'm trying to raise. However, I'll try and explain some cultural differences for the sake of clarity.
Land animal hunting (bar Rabbits etc.) in the UK largely disappeared hundreds of years ago (mainly because most of the indigenous animals were hunted into extinction) and remains now only for the very wealthy who have the ability to pay 10’s of thousands of pounds to shoot mostly Pheasants, Grouse and Deer on privately owned land, but still under the shelter of jolly old 'sporting' endeavor. The vast majority of the population here do not therefore either participate or agree with killing animals under the pretense of sport. Fox Hunting in particular has now become a battleground for class war (working class/city dwellers vs wealthy land owners, hangers on, twits like Brian Ferry of Roxy Music and most of the Royal family and their employees etc.) which has surpassed all education, enlightenment or reasoning and in no small part because the kill or Fox is not even eaten ... and of course these people like to call this 'sport'?
We also still have images and lasting memories of atrocities such as our disgraceful imperialist forefathers wiping out Tigers in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and once again... in the name of sport. 'Hunting = sport' in this country therefore means so much more culturally than it does in the U.S. Here it’s mostly perceived as an ancient camouflaged condescension adopted by the upper echelons of British society which has very much been 'seen through' over and over again – therefore making the 'hunting = sport and sport = good' illusion untenable, but to confuse even further... others here in the UK will still disagree with me? Its therefore clearly not just semantics but historical, political, social and cultural too!
So can we stick with just spearfishing please?
In this cultural climate I am often pressured to justify or even defend what I do and love namely, underwater hunting, even by some of my closest friends, University colleagues and business associates. I therefore resent the calling, defining or describing spearfishing as sport mainly because it isn't, its clearly underwater hunting which is a more concise & honest description and invokes none of the prevailing cultural perceptions that I have mentioned above. If I even attempted to suggest that spearfishing is a sport I would be correctly 'seen through' or judged as being hypocritical by most people (with even just an inkling of intelligence) in the UK for all of the reasons above and possibly more. I have however been hunting underwater for nearly 40 years in and around our coastline, which I view as the last bastion of sustainable free range hunting and yet unregulated spearfishing is now also probably coming to an end in the UK within the next 5-10 years. My overwhelming point is I would rather that it didn't but by being a hypocrite and pretending that I participate in the 'glory, legitimacy and goodness' of a 'sport' called spearfishing is for me (and 15 others so far) not the way to prolong non-regulation... being honest and laying out bare all the responsibilities & possible custodial benefits which may go hand-in-hand with underwater hunting/spearfishing... might just be?

Therefore redefining is exactly what I am attempting to encourage!
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • Like
Reactions: Kodama and Kars

BatRay

Forum Mentor
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Nov 1, 2002
4,808
611
203
38
Central California
I think hunting in general (for food) would eventually benefit if it did not continue to associate itself with sport!
So can we stick with just spearfishing please?
I was differentiating between the negative stereotypes of wanton waste vs responsible, sustainable resource usage. Ideally, the concept is the same whether you are hunting fish or land animals and regardless of geographical area. Sustainable resource management that allows people to hunt or spearfish should be promoted. If prevailing in this situation requires you to exclude an an inflammatory word, is only a small point conceded if you are successful.

Therefore redefining is exactly what I am attempting to encourage!
As am I. Redefining the terms by emphasizing sustainable and responsible means and methods is the key is to educating people and showing that you're not out there to deplete the resource.

You've made some good points here Batray but they're a bit muddied by your obvious participation in land hunting in the U.S.

I have never hunted in my life. If I had, why would that make my points muddy? Sustainability is never a bad thing, regardless of geographical location. That was my overarching point.

In essence, I believe that we are at cross-purposes.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kodama
OP
OP
A

artiz

Guest
I was differentiating between the negative stereotypes of wanton waste vs responsible, sustainable resource usage. Ideally, the concept is the same whether you are hunting fish or land animals and regardless of geographical area. Sustainable resource management that allows people to hunt or spearfish should be promoted. If prevailing in this situation requires you to exclude an an inflammatory word, is only a small point conceded if you are successful.



As am I. Redefining the terms by emphasizing sustainable and responsible means and methods is the key is to educating people and showing that you're not out there to deplete the resource.

You've made some good points here Batray but they're a bit muddied by your obvious participation in land hunting in the U.S.

I have never hunted in my life. If I had, why would that make my points muddy? Sustainability is never a bad thing, regardless of geographical location. That was my overarching point.

In essence, I believe that we are at cross-purposes.
So if you voted which way did you vote?
 

BatRay

Forum Mentor
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Nov 1, 2002
4,808
611
203
38
Central California
From my point of view, "sport" isn't an inflammatory term, and I don't avoid it, so spearfishing is a subcategory in the sport of fishing. The methods are sometimes similar to hunting, which is also a sport. I didn't vote because that option wasn't available.
 
OP
OP
A

artiz

Guest
In essence, I believe that we are at cross-purposes.
From my point of view, "sport" isn't an inflammatory term, and I don't avoid it, so spearfishing is a subcategory in the sport of fishing. The methods are sometimes similar to hunting, which is also a sport. I didn't vote because that option wasn't available.

That sounds very much like opposite purposes to me? The thread and the poll were deliberately created in the first place to facilitate a decisive definition & hence no room for a 'third way'??? I was under the impression that my opening post also stated that very clearly? I even provided a link to the Hunting is/not a Sport debate at Debatepedia to provide the 3rd, 4th, 5th (etc.) ways so that we could concentrate on getting to the point... which still is 'calling spearfishing a sport is clearly hypocritical' and so far 84% of people who actually do it agree... for us its underwater hunting!
Now can we move on please because regulation of spearfishing here in the UK is looking pretty much imminent?
In 2011 Ireland introduced new regulations... see the front page of spearfishing.ie , we have also heard from bura and the swingeing regulations in Croatia and Kars informed me that spearfishing is completely illegal in Holland.
The problem is that in 2008 European legislation also very nearly stopped spearfishing in UK waters and was only narrowly averted because the legislators had not correctly worded the policy/consultation document. This oversight was mainly due to a lack or under representation at the consultation process. This also happened with the consulation process in 2010/11 in Ireland where Mr X and a few other dedicated Spearo's managed to make their case but were clearly sidelined - see Mr X's post here. More important perhaps you can also see just how few the forum members were who actually got involved?
Isn't it about time we made sure we had strong and well informed/informative representation at all consultation processes where these kind of regulations/licensing are proposed?
Shouldn't we also make sure that we are constantly aware of any new proposals both in the UK and elsewhere?
Surely if we don't ensure that our unique potential as highly responsible underwater hunters as well as ocean custodians, sea life counters/filmers for Government (Fisheries) agencies perhaps, conservationists, ocean lovers, litter gatherers (plastic bags/fishing tackle etc) - more suggestions here please - are not outlined to these policy makers & consultation processes we are missing out big time on affecting decision making where it counts. Seems like a fair trade to me ... or am I just banging on again???????
 
Last edited by a moderator:

podge

Always Hungry
May 16, 2006
6,225
1,654
353
51
somerset U.K.
Thought for the day:

If spearfishing is a sport, Podge is an athlete.
And who says that 6 foot of pure pie, beer and nicotine can’t be sporting?
Anyways I always give the fish a sporting chance before I push one side of its gill plate straight through to the other side, and on the way back to the beach I sportingly swim along while minding my own business and thinking about the sporting Marlboro cigarette that I’m about to smoke in a very sporty manner of course.
And what could be better after a full days sport than a couple of pints of the good stuff in, that’s right you got it a sports bar.
:):):):):):)
 
  • Like
Reactions: artiz

apneaboy

Wellard
Jul 1, 2005
1,855
604
218
manchester
www.freedivers.co.uk
Podge, do you actually go diving as well? That is amazing, so do I :)

Most the country is full of armchair apneists debating some politics or other nonsense.

Lets get a poll running.

Do you mainly just talk s**** all day on forums about diving
Do you go diving more than once a week

If you don't vote you get put in the first category rofl
 
OP
OP
A

artiz

Guest
Podge, do you actually go diving as well? That is amazing, so do I :)

Most the country is full of armchair apneists debating some politics or other nonsense.

Lets get a poll running.

Do you mainly just talk s**** all day on forums about diving
Do you go diving more than once a week

If you don't vote you get put in the first category rofl
For someone posting from 20m down your grammars still good... well played. If your not interested why bother trashing a thread?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

podge

Always Hungry
May 16, 2006
6,225
1,654
353
51
somerset U.K.
Lets get a poll running.

Do you mainly just talk s**** all day on forums about diving
Do you go diving more than once a week

If you don't vote you get put in the first category rofl
Do you dive in a sporting manor? i.e in the middle of winter with just a pair of Speedo’s??
:D:D
 
OP
OP
A

artiz

Guest
I consider it more of a culling of weak thread than the destruction of a useful one ;-)
As a self appointed gamekeeper of the forum you'd best let us know your definition of a 'useful' thread so that nobody dares to make the same mistake again? ;-)
 
Last edited by a moderator:
OP
OP
A

artiz

Guest
And who says that 6 foot of pure pie, beer and nicotine can’t be sporting?
Anyways I always give the fish a sporting chance before I push one side of its gill plate straight through to the other side, and on the way back to the beach I sportingly swim along while minding my own business and thinking about the sporting Marlboro cigarette that I’m about to smoke in a very sporty manner of course.
And what could be better after a full days sport than a couple of pints of the good stuff in, that’s right you got it a sports bar.
:):):):):):)
Still laughing at this one podge... many thanks!
 
Aug 6, 2012
17
0
11
Florida
It depends on how you look at it. It's a personal question. There are team spearfishing tourney's. An there are men that hunt just for food. Same with freediving. Same with terra fima hunting and sportfishing aside from just going to catch a meal or two. I don't compete now but I woul like to if I have a chance at it. So it can be both a sport and a way of life. I've always seen surfing that way as well.
 
OP
OP
A

artiz

Guest
It depends on how you look at it. It's a personal question. There are team spearfishing tourney's. An there are men that hunt just for food. Same with freediving. Same with terra fima hunting and sportfishing aside from just going to catch a meal or two. I don't compete now but I woul like to if I have a chance at it. So it can be both a sport and a way of life. I've always seen surfing that way as well.
Good point well made & thanks... but the analogy with surfing is a little shaky on the grounds that your not out to kill anything when surfing. I still surf occasionally so I definitely understand your sentiment though. Why couldn't we just call it competitive spearfishing rather than sport spearfishing and avoid any hypocrisy attached to the hunting is sport fallacy? I suppose that may sound a little like semantics but its still an important redefinition for the future?
 
Last edited by a moderator: