Perhaps the subject is a bit of a yawn for many experienced forum users but for me its been the progressive and more frequent examples of legislation in the last 10 years which made me join this forum in the first place. I'm not exactly a social spearo and only dive with my son or alone & wherever possible away from anyone. For the last 37 years I have not felt that spearfishing is under threat... now I do and for me any sanctions, regulations and legislation regarding spearfishing will be 'the straw that broke the camels back'. Administration, regs and sanctions is a British past time/obsession which I abhor... 2004-5ish banned in Holland & Germany & over-licensed in some Med countries, 2006/7ish ban in Wales - successfully opposed/rejected? 2008 European projectile legislation mistake???... more like opposition tester for future legislation and 2011 Ireland Bass and season limits and gun license for pneumatics, 2012 Welsh exclusion zones plus goodness only knows what else in the pipeline that I/we don't know about yet... and here in the UK the British Spearfishing Association (with about 30-40 members and falling) still has competitions where hundreds of fish are paraded on public display in the name of 'sport' or should I say 'blood sport'?... as I said 'sitting ducks' with no informed representation? So my answer is yes we REALLY need an association now which can change wider perceptions of spearfishing and represent modern ecological spearfishing practices before its too late. Without good informative representation in ever increasing consultation processes we'll be on the back foot & wondering what the hell happened.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?
I also think there are far more people who spearfish than is commonly thought... I definitely seem to be avoiding more than ever before?
A BSA which promotes ecological principles, research assistance to conservation and legislation bodies and all under an ethical perspective could even self-regulate and for me would be ideal... but one look at their web site and pics of stringers full of fish in the name of sport is enough to scare me into thinking that we are very much on borrowed time!
Sorry - Rant over?
Apologies for the auld comment of course!
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