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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
Aug 6, 2012
17
0
11
Florida
I agree. I hunt on land as well and never compete to do so. Spearfishing is to much fun to worry about comps. I'd rather just hunt for a record. But I can't say I don t do so when it me and some buddies were always trying each others fish!
 

Kars

Well-Known Member
Oct 24, 2003
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Apneaboy, cant we have some philosophy here on DB?

What's your beef?

At the moment I'm in the pool 3-4 times a week, teaching people how to swim and do small dynamics, but I have not been in the water much for my personal pleasure lately. Would you say that I should to engage on the DB forum?

I think it's very educational to question definitions, philosophy or even just nag and complain about our frustrations. At least I got a brilliant panel of great and deep characters who can bounce back some interesting viewpoints or just empathise with my situation.

Love, Courage and Water,

Kars.
 
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artiz

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Appreciate your comments Kars

I found these links (page 1 & page 2) from Divenet published in 1998. These views are expressed by Scuba divers of course but the message regarding spearfishing as a so called 'sport' was loud and clear... even 14 years ago. I also found this page regarding Welsh Marine Conservation Areas. Welsh/British spearo's were not represented as a stakeholder at this consultation process either - it ended on the 31/7/2012... and adheres to European directives ?
This is another missed opportuniy to state our potential as marine custodians and beneficial to the Ocean, its upkeep and marine life, rather than another negative sport which requires regulation.

If we do not 'wake up' & start representing ourselves appropriately as a unified body we will very shortly be sidelined and regulated out of existence in the UK?
 
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ThomasB

Well-Known Member
Sep 12, 2009
231
26
68
italy
A HUNTER'S HEART

"Why do I hunt? It's a lot to think about, and I think about it a lot. I hunt to acknowledge my evolutionary roots, millennia deep, as a predatory omnivore. To participate actively in the bedrock workings of nature. For the atavistic challenge of doing it well with an absolute minimum of technological assistance. To learn the lessons, about nature and myself, that only hunting can teach. To accept personal responsibility for at least some of the deaths that nourish my life. For the glimpse it offers into a wildness we can hardly imagine. Because it provides the closest thing I've known to a spiritual experience. I hunt because it enriches my life and because I can't help myself... because I was born with a hunter's heart."

[p.161] ---------------- David Petersen (ed.) 1996. "A Hunter's Heart: Honest Essays on Blood Sport". Henry Holt & Co., New York. ISBN 0-8050-4423-X


Even if i don't consider myself a real hunter yet this is how i would sum it up. It has hardly anything to do
with competions where it's all about "indiscriminate" numbers, size and sponsorship.
I don't believe a sport should deal with other's lives at all...
 
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artiz

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A HUNTER'S HEART

"Why do I hunt? It's a lot to think about, and I think about it a lot. I hunt to acknowledge my evolutionary roots, millennia deep, as a predatory omnivore. To participate actively in the bedrock workings of nature. For the atavistic challenge of doing it well with an absolute minimum of technological assistance. To learn the lessons, about nature and myself, that only hunting can teach. To accept personal responsibility for at least some of the deaths that nourish my life. For the glimpse it offers into a wildness we can hardly imagine. Because it provides the closest thing I've known to a spiritual experience. I hunt because it enriches my life and because I can't help myself... because I was born with a hunter's heart."

[p.161] ---------------- David Petersen (ed.) 1996. "A Hunter's Heart: Honest Essays on Blood Sport". Henry Holt & Co., New York. ISBN 0-8050-4423-X


Even if i don't consider myself a real hunter yet this is how i would sum it up. It has hardly anything to do
with competions where it's all about "indiscriminate" numbers, size and sponsorship.
I don't believe a sport should deal with other's lives at all...
Outstanding post ThomasB and I couldn't agree with you (& Henry) more... other than if it was Honest Essays on 'Spearfishing' rather than 'Blood Sport'. Oh and the best Speargun or "technological assistance" I can afford of course!
 
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Balpherus

Member
Sep 1, 2012
58
6
23
44
Stirlingshire
It's a hobby for me. Walking and running are two activities that can be classed as sports, but I don't think I'm an athlete just because walk or run to my car. :naughty I couldn't vote as the one thing it is, an "activity" wasn't included on the voting list. :waterwork Sorry:(
 

Balpherus

Member
Sep 1, 2012
58
6
23
44
Stirlingshire
Scotlands keep healthy campaign includes all manner of activities that promote exercise, as spear fishing involves exercise and the outdoors.

Perhaps the SNP would be a good start for UK political involvment ?, as Scotland already leads mainland UK with regards to access rights and outdoor persuits.

:friday Though their numbers may be few, they remain ready to defend their freedom. :martial
 
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artiz

Guest
It's a hobby for me. Walking and running are two activities that can be classed as sports, but I don't think I'm an athlete just because walk or run to my car. :naughty I couldn't vote as the one thing it is, an "activity" wasn't included on the voting list. :waterwork Sorry:(
Although I sympathise with your 'fence sitting' Balpherus the original idea of the poll was to get a decision one way or t'other. If it continues to be defined or classified as a sport then it will be regulated or legislated in the future as such and end up being banned as it is in the Netherlands or over regulated with a 'sport fishing license' as it is in Croatia.... or nearer to home... limited by number (2 Bass in 24hrs) as it is now in Ireland since 2011. We in the UK are in real danger of being seen as taking part in a 'blood sport activity' when it very clearly is not. The starting point for us is to move on from this outdated 'sport' definition and be a bit more honest, open and transparent in what we do... the hope being that we can change wider perceptions of spearfishing and avoid some of the impending sanctions which are definitely on their way?
 
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Balpherus

Member
Sep 1, 2012
58
6
23
44
Stirlingshire
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?
It would appear that was not the case; whilst the first conclusion was to choose if it was a sport, the options would only need to be "Yes" or "No", though you fealt that would not be required.
The second part of your original post you suggest that spear fishers decide for themselves how they define it. Which is what I did :t

So as to "sitting on the fence" perhaps you should now realise that my view of how I see spearfishing is a conclusion of my own free will, not "sitting on the fence".
I do not see it as a sport, and agree with much of what you have said about legislation around the corner.
England has a fishing rod license in place, so the idea of a license for a speargun is not too hard to believe.
Fish limits are often put in to place to stop commercial fishing from non commercial bodies.
The spearguns are also going to be required to have better definition under the firearms act, as they most closely fit to that of a crossbow (banded spearguns), and crossbows are not to be used in an "open" public space; which the sea is, though only through the grace of it's owners.

The healthy Scotland campaign has all manner of activities under it's belt, it would perhaps be a good idea to take use of Scotlands "right of access" and continued efforts for physical activities to be promoted; by contacting the SNP. Do you know which MPs or government ministers are involved with the proposed bill?

I should have some time next week to contact my area EU member and my local MP.

I'll try to look at the French view as to it's definition, as it has been a very popular activity there for a lot of years; and I'm sure the people of France would not stand around in silence whilst governments told them what to do, they seem to like to voice their opinions ever since their revolution so many years ago.
 
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Balpherus

Member
Sep 1, 2012
58
6
23
44
Stirlingshire
I have contacted SMP John Wilson's office, Scottish Rights of Way and Access Society and the Duty Inspector for Fisheries.

They have all been very helpful and are due to get back in touch with researched information. :)

I will keep you posted, and will get in touch with SMP Angus McDonald after completing a detailed analysis of information aquired.

I will also be contacting the head of the firearms devision to confirm police recomendations for spearguns.
 
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artiz

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I have contacted SMP John Wilson's office, Scottish Rights of Way and Access Society and the Duty Inspector for Fisheries.

They have all been very helpful and are due to get back in touch with researched information. :)

I will keep you posted, and will get in touch with SMP Angus McDonald after completing a detailed analysis of information aquired.

I will also be contacting the head of the firearms devision to confirm police recomendations for spearguns.
Now that's the spirit Balpherus crack on mate! While your at it check out the British Spearfishing Association website which is the only spearfishing body recognised at the Governmental level in the UK and who has any chance of representing us at legislative levels... and they don't? Mainly because they are totally 'sport' orientated and therefore do not represent the vast majority of spearo's...although that may possibly/hopefully change in the near future. Also if you check out any recent consultation processes (links in previous posts) regarding stakeholders or interested parties you will always find a strong representation from the BSAC (sub-aqua) or definitely national federations of Sea Anglers but never anyone representing our interests. The point being that we are 'sitting ducks' and for me the 2008 projectile legislation from Europe was a tester to find out the level of opposition for future European-wide legislation - French revolution or not! There's also a DeeperBlue discussion here from 2007 if your interested... most other UK forum members don't seem to give a stuff?
 
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grantl

Well-Known Member
Dec 5, 2005
694
315
153
Scotland
I have contacted SMP John Wilson's office, Scottish Rights of Way and Access Society and the Duty Inspector for Fisheries.

They have all been very helpful and are due to get back in touch with researched information. :)

I will keep you posted, and will get in touch with SMP Angus McDonald after completing a detailed analysis of information aquired.

I will also be contacting the head of the firearms devision to confirm police recomendations for spearguns.
Excellent. I look forward in future to buying my fisheries licence, access permit, annual govt. licence and also buying another gun cabinet for my growing collection of pneumatic guns.
Is there really a need to start bringing this to the authorities/politicians attention?
I'm not sure the 10 or so at most Spearos in Scotland would particularly think this is a good move?
Surely, if the concern is legislation being enforced on our 'sport' it would be a sensible action to form a user group before bringing this to authorities attention.
I can just imagine the potential knee jerk reaction when they surmise there's hundreds of us out there with big scary guns, cammo wetsuits and torches !
As far as I'm concerned we're well under the authorities radar, have been for decades and will continue to be unless people start giving them no choice.
Get out there and enjoy it - it sure beats writing to people about it :)
 
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artiz

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Excellent. I look forward in future to buying my fisheries licence, access permit, annual govt. licence and also buying another gun cabinet for my growing collection of pneumatic guns.
Is there really a need to start bringing this to the authorities/politicians attention?
I'm not sure the 10 or so at most Spearos in Scotland would particularly think this is a good move?
Surely, if the concern is legislation being enforced on our 'sport' it would be a sensible action to form a user group before bringing this to authorities attention.
I can just imagine the potential knee jerk reaction when they surmise there's hundreds of us out there with big scary guns, cammo wetsuits and torches !
As far as I'm concerned we're well under the authorities radar, have been for decades and will continue to be unless people start giving them no choice.
Get out there and enjoy it - it sure beats writing to people about it :)
Fully understand your point Grantl but its 'being under the radar' with no representation which makes us 'sitting ducks'! Besides if you were one of the authorities/politicians looking to make your name by having a soft target like the so called 'sport' of spearfishing banned your already monitoring this site and have been for years with full access to copious amounts of written, pictorial and video evidence... some of it being conspicuously excessive?
I get the feeling that Balpherus is trying to find out the state of play rather than "bringing it to the authorities/politicians attention"? I hope so anyway?
Forming a user group to lobby the BSA for change and representation is exactly the intention but 'being under the radar' still seems to be the general consensus... which will get us nowhere?
I have already written to the Chairman of the BSA regarding my individual thoughts so any other voices will obviously help... so far no one seems interested in protecting our interests?
We clearly need to plan ahead before its too late?
I have also been messing around with an alternative type association web site which other spearo's who feel the same way can join. Particularly if the BSA continues without change. I have been reluctant to make it public because its a bit rubbish, not finished and clearly needs others to contribute.
 
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grantl

Well-Known Member
Dec 5, 2005
694
315
153
Scotland
If your objective is to form a user group, as you say, is your approach correct?

Publishing a website, that in your own words, 'is a bit rubbish' and having total beginners in our sport contacting MPs etc.( whatever their intention, and no offence meant here at all) may have very undesirable results.
There's already an organisation in Scotland that has was formed to represent Spearos in 2011-perhaps they could asisst with the information youre looking for Balpherus?http://www.caledonianspearfishers.co.uk/
An efficient, organised group with a clear focus will be difficult to pull together without the right approach I'm sure. Maybe some of the Irish Spearos (Vasile?) would be a good source of help for you - they've done it themselves and from the outside it didn't look easy to me.
 

foxfish

Silver Smoker
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Dec 31, 2005
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Spearfishing is a tiny majority activity (sport or whatever) contacting politicians regarding the licensing of guns all sounds a bit scary to me!

If every spearo in the UK stood up to be counted, how many do you think there would be?
Obversely we dont know but, I doubt there would be many!
Even if you managed to get one thousand to show enough interests to say, sign a petition, how effective would 1000 signatures be against one hard nosed politician wanting to bring up the case of banning spearfishing?

Fish conservation is a new thing! Politicians love scapegoats! Regardless of the facts - a single trawler could catch more fish in one day than every spearo in the UK could catch in a season - does not mean a tot!
If you mention guns, of any description to any politician, he might just go looking for brownie points!

Re is spearfishing a sport - I have always answered "yes" if I am asked "what sport are you into" !
I have been spearfishing all my life, I have trained in a pool & swam uncountable miles in the sea, If I run I do it to keep fit outside of the spearfishing season so I will be ready in the spring - I have made spearfishing "my" sport.
However 'technically' I dont think it is a sport for me, as I dont compete with anyone :)
 
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artiz

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If your objective is to form a user group, as you say, is your approach correct?

Publishing a website, that in your own words, 'is a bit rubbish' and having total beginners in our sport contacting MPs etc.( whatever their intention, and no offence meant here at all) may have very undesirable results.
There's already an organisation in Scotland that has was formed to represent Spearos in 2011-perhaps they could asisst with the information youre looking for Balpherus?HOME - Caledonian Spearfishers
An efficient, organised group with a clear focus will be difficult to pull together without the right approach I'm sure. Maybe some of the Irish Spearos (Vasile?) would be a good source of help for you - they've done it themselves and from the outside it didn't look easy to me.
Firstly I have no idea or influence on what Balpherus is up to but it very much looks as if he should join the caledonian spearfishers which looks excellent by the way and thanks for the link. I did notice however that a member of the BSA has helped and that is where the real focus should be... on lobbying the BSA for change so that the vast majority of spearo's in the UK have an established and recognised body that actually represents us and our interests? The current Chairman of the BSA is Steve Mullineaux and I'm sure from the response that he gave me he will be interested in everyone's thoughts so contact him here - [email protected]
Lastly my 'approach' is obviously tentative and clearly needs help from others as previously stated but its got to start somewhere and that's what I'm attempting to do rather than 'stay under the radar' hoping those nasty legislators will just leave 'me' alone.
I'm definitely open to suggestions and advice?

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” - George Bernard Shaw

PS - Thanks for your thoughts Foxfish
 
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Balpherus

Member
Sep 1, 2012
58
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:)Thank you for the Caledonian link, I didn't realise they were still active.

Regarding the contacting of Scottish government MPs and ministers, it is to find out what is currently in the pipeline. I have found general enquires very helpful in the past, and they have been more than happy to assist with my current questions.

It is a crucial part of any process to know what the starting conditions are, before knowing what needs to be done in order to maximise a benificial outcome.
I am surprised that (and no offence was taken, as we all need to start somewhere) it is not a more seasoned spearfisher that has taken steps to contact government officials to find out what is going on.

It is highly unlikely that they don't know what activities are taking place in their coastal waters; as such it would only be a new type of activity that would ring alarm bells. Any currently drafted or proposed bills would already contain spearfishing if it is seen as relevant.

As for the BSA, does anyone know which government department they are run by? :rcard
Or are they a maverick organisation that have enough members to justify a majority view point? :mute

The BCA was a maverick organisation (as most organisations are maverick in their initial setup, it is worth remembering that if people were to stop setting them up, there would be no chance for them to grow and become recognised) and now it has more authority to influence and charge. :naughty

If members of the BSA don't feel they are being represented then they should set up their own organisation, it's about claiming majority representation. :head

:wave

I open an invite for the Caledonian organisation to pm me so as to see about joining, if there are so few spearfishers in Scotland it should be easy for them to have 100% majority representation.


(put the spade down Balpherus, you've already got a big enough hole for both of us) :blackeye
 
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artiz

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Thankyou for the Caledonian link, I didn't realise they were still active. Regarding the contacting of Scottish government MPs and ministers, it is to find out what is currently in the pipeline. I have found general enquires very helpful in the past, and they have been more than happy to assist with my current questions. It is a crucial part of any process to know what the starting conditions are, before knowing what needs to be done in order to maximise a benificial outcome. I am surprised that (and no offence was taken, as we all need to start somewhere) it is not a more seasoned spearfisher that has taken steps to contact government officials to find out what is going on. It is highly unlikely that they don't know what activities are taking place in their coastal waters; as such it would only be a new type of activity that would ring alarm bells. Any currently drafted or proposed bills would already contain spearfishing if it is seen as relevant.
I had faith in you Balpherus it was wicked auld Uncle grantl who doubted your intentions:D
 

grantl

Well-Known Member
Dec 5, 2005
694
315
153
Scotland
I had faith in you Balpherus it was wicked auld Uncle grantl who doubted your intentions:D
Less of the auld please:)

Good job Balpherus but you raise a point that may be worth considering further - Why have these lines of enquiry, or possibly tentative 'first steps' towards formation of a constituted organisation to protect our interest not been taken further before?
I would guess Foxfish hit the nail on the head - there just simply aren't enough of us regularly spearing to form a viable organisation that can influence policy decision makers.
I can't recall what the thread was about ( possibly this very topic, or someone researching a new business idea?) but sometime last year there was a back of the envelope calculation of number of Spearos and it was negligible.
I would be v interested in your findings but, as I think you understand, sensitivity is needed when dealing with authorities regarding highlighting our sport to them. Currently we are classed the same as anglers ie recreational fishermen and we are completely within our rights to spear fish.
I've not seen anything to tell me there are plans or intentions to change this yet I've been hearing the same story for years from people saying we need to form a club to protect ourselves. Really?