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Need everybody's help on this

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.


Will Dive for Food
Mar 4, 2003
I found this on the net and thought everyone should join in to help spearos in the U.S. and maybe worldwide.

NOAA is proposing that spearfishing be banned at Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary, Georgia.
But hook and line fishing will be allowed.
There is a misperception in the United States that spearfishing harms fish populations, while rod and reel fishing is good and wholesome. If spearfishermen and women fail to raise their voices, this mistaken notion will continue to make its way into policy and rules and regulations across the United States. Spearfishing does not have the political power that supports and defends rod and reel fishing, so we continue to see these kinds of laws passed that suppress and outlaw spearfishing, while rod and reel fishing continues. The facts show that spearfishing is by far a more environmentally sound method of recreational fish take than rod and reel fishing. While spearfishers can chose the fish they want, rod and reel fishermen have little control over what bites their hooks and lures. "Catch n Release" has become a catchy term among the fishing community, but the facts show that most fish that are caught and released later die from the trauma and damage of being hooked. So while a rod and reel fisherman may end up killing many fish on a day out fishing, a spearfisher will only take the fish that was targeted.

NOAA will be accepting comments from the public on this pending measure until December 31, 2003. Please send your comments to:
Be sure to include your full name and address and telephone number.
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There is a local spearo that will be going to the meetings and stepping up to the plate for all our rights. This case could set precidents that would seriously jeopardize the future of our sport. Look at the rampant growth of MPA's lately. Is it really far fetched that spearing could be next? The prblem here is spearing is what s attacked, not rec. fishing totally...that has serious ramifications.

He asks that you write a short simple letter stating who you are, your involvement in the sport, and your concerns. Please be aware of the tone of the letter as threatening or severly defensive/offensive letters WILL NOT help the cause. Please take the 2 minutes and send the letter to him. Not that any one person has more voice than another but Scott T. this is where that title "biologist" really becomes useful. This is a very serious issue. Here is the link...


Think a mod could make this a sticky thread or put it in a prominant place?

Editted email address
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Let's post some ideas on what to write on that letter to graysreefcomments@noaa.gov :hmm so that we can appear atleast to be well informed when we do write our letters. What gave rise to this issue anyway? Does anyone know?:ban
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They are having a preliminary meeting this coming Monday so if you could, please send my contact that letter...
Mine read something like this...
To whom it may concern,
My name is Michael Freeman and I am an active USCG captain and avid spearfisherman. I am currently a charter captain on the Gulf of Mexico. I am writing in my concern for the proposed spearfishing legislation you are considering. I ask that more research is done to adequately guage the affects of spearfishing versus other methods of recreational harvesting. There is no bycatch, no "catch and release" mortality rate, and spearfishing has been documented as having the lowest enviornmental impact among the various methods of recreational harvesting of fish. I say this after years of firsthand observation between my chartered "hook and line" trips and my personal recreational spearfishing outings.
Thank you for your time,
Capt. Michael Freeman
Amberjack Charters
Biloxi, MS
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I'm on it.....like...

Thank you for bringing this to our attention!
If you don't mind, I'm forwarding this to my Freediving Clubs' President, Vice President, and Secretary...does anyone know if www.Sprearboard.com is addressing this to the members as well? One letter to any of the spearo/freediving sites may help reach many who would jump on this.....

How about some Karma for Cingene? :cool:
And Rig, the letter is a great template -- (fill in the appropriate name, etc. of course)

Thanks, gentlemen! :cool:
absolutely not Murat, we need everybody to represent on this issue. I actually became aware of this on spearboard and that is where the emails through my link are going. The spearo there will present the letters to the board at the meeting this Monday. As of this morning he had a little over 30 letters but between the 2 sites there is no reason we shouldnt be able to get hundreds....
I totally disagree with the concept of discrimination of take. IMO, either take should be totally banned (i.e. no spearfishing and no fishing) or allowed (spearfishing and fishing) from within areas. I hate it when spearfishing is selectively targeted as doing more damage than fishing. Both put stresses on the environment, sometimes one more so than the other but not necessarily the same each time. The bottom line is that the fishing community has more political pull than the spearfishing community so we usually (always) end up with the short end of the stick. Florida is a prime example of this. There's over a dozen fish species here we can't shoot yet almost every one of them can be caught by hook and line and harvested. A few have biological reasoning behind them and I can accept the fact that spearing can damage population levels more so than fishing in some cases for certain species but most don't have reasons behind the laws and are protected from spearing only because the fishermen want them all for themselves.


Nice letter. I'll work on one.

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thanks to everyone who helps...really we are only investing in ourself if we take the time to write. WE are the ones who would like to continue spearing. If you dont think those rights can be taken just ask anyone in Florida or Cali lately...they are already on the downward slide like Scott mentioned. And guess what 2 states lead the rest of us in politics, fashion, food, trends, and everything else...:head

Maybe you can write to them and tell them how you were thinking of going on a spearfishing trip in the Georgian waters and how it would effect the tourism in Georgia...just an idea. Everyone's input would be welcomed.
Originally posted by Murat
Is it necessary to be US citizen?

Murat, I don't know the answer to this question, but I appreciate your willingness to participate. Thank you!

----Rig? Any reason Murat should not write?
Thank you for the links!
I PM'd Scott on the same site.
You beat me to this.

Good work!

edit: Thanks, Cingene!
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Originally posted by Cingene

Maybe you can write to them and tell them how you were thinking of going on a spearfishing trip in the Georgian waters and how it would effect the tourism in Georgia...just an idea. Everyone's input would be welcomed.

Got an answer to the letter I wrote.

Thank you for your comment and your interest in Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary. For your consideration, I am including below the link to our website which contains information about the Draft Management Plan/Draft EIS. If you have trouble downloading the document, please let me know. I would be happy to mail a copy to you. If you have any further comments or questions after you review the document, please don't hesitate to send those comments as well.
Reed Bohne


To whom it may concern,

I am but a single voice out of many for the spearfishing community maybe not from Georgia but do some fishing down south including Georgia, one of the many avid spearfishermen who does contribute to the finances of the places where the sport is allowed. I do not understand the reasoning behind the ban on spearfishing but I would guess that pressure from the different line fishermen associations has a lot to do with it. It is not fair to ban spearfishing without any studies being done on the impact of such an activity to the fish population of the area as oppose to line fishing. If one way of fishing is banned because of decreasing fish population every way of fishing should be for a time. Concentrating on and disallowing a technique which is time proven to be most effective and causes the least damage to the total fish population as oppose to catch and release which have been known to later on kill the fish that were previously caught and released by sport's fishermen will not contribute to a healthy fish population in Georgia.

Marcos Gonzales
Avid Spearfisherman
Biotech Department
Bayer USA

Unfortunately, I cannot download the information contained:duh
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Thanks for posting the NOAA reply, Cingene.
I received an identical letter today from Reed Bohne.
Good work! ;)
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