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soul surfers

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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soul surfers?

  • This theory seems to hold water

    Votes: 15 83.3%
  • Rig is outta his mind...

    Votes: 3 16.7%

  • Total voters

Things are different on the World level. Those guys are killers (at least the better ones are). I don't believe they see the ocean in the same manner that a recreational harvester does. Most of them make a living at it and only see fish as money. I sell fish myself but I don't make a living at it and I certainly don't care weather or not I end up with anything to sell at the end of the day. I do however have several friends whom I consider some of the top competitive spearfishermen in the country who have told me that they only have fun spearfishing when they are making money and that if they couldn't make money they wouldn't bother to dive anymore. I told them that was very sad!!!!! Maybe there’s hope though, I believe this year in Brazil was the first year catch restrictions were ever implemented at a World Championship (both size and bag limits).

Speaking of youths, last year a new team category was voted in to the US Nationals. It's called a 'mixed team' and consists of either 1 female and 1 male or 1 adult and 1 juvenile (under 16). Pretty cool, huh? Now father and son, husband and wife, or mother and daughter can compete in the USA Nationals. It was done to try and bring new divers into the sport.

Scott T.
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Hey Scott,

I had the chance too meet some of the world's top here during our Intern. competitions. They seemed quite normal to me. Per example the brother of Pedro Carbonell is a very normal guy despite being in the 2nd National team and has a 'dry' job. The other guy on the Spanish team was a lawyer.
As far as I know every major athlete has a certain responsibillity before the society. He's a role model, if you want. It is the Intern. and local federations should employ the athlete's image to promote or educate the public or the community they are representing. Believe me, I doubt it that Pedro Carbonell will refuse to participate in an environmental or educational campaign if CMAS or FEDAS tells him to. But the ball is in the federations.
The only promtional campaign I've ever seen was by Beuchat or Sporasub and ran in specialised French media. I don't remember the company but I remember the campaign! It included disturbing photos of what industrial exploitation may cause the sea. The slogan was "I am a hunter, but I love the sea too..."

About the youngster - it's nice what you did. Unfortunately we cannot introduce it here cause of the general legal barrier regarding the participation of kids under 16 - with or without a parent. It's a pitty but I personally don't think a kid that young should participate in competitions - the age is not enough for a erson to become an experienced spearo. But that's my personal opinion.



I didn't mean to imply that the best being 'killers' meant they were somehow bad guys. I met most of them in Brazil and they are all extremely nice guys. I was only saying that I don't believe they would think there is anything wrong with the way they harvest from the ocean where a recreational harvester might think different about somebody killing 300+ fish in 2 days (which has been done in a World Championship before). I have a friend who competed in Tahiti and killed 48 fish on the 1st day. I know he wouldn't think twice about that but others in the non-competitive arena might. I like the concept of bag and size limits. The new trend in US Nationals is to set size limits above and bag limits below what the state allows. I'd like to see the Worlds get more in line with this practice.

Scott T.
Hey Scott,

I agree with you, killing that much fish is disturbing... But may be they are thinking, what the hell ! ! ! Those big trawler gets 300 tons of fish in one day just for money. Then why i can't shoot more than few fish???
I know this is not valid excuse but trying to look from another point of view....

I think all of fishing (spero, anglers, trawlers) should learn how to caught fish without damaging marine life. But you know, when its become out of sport and do for money or ego things got out of control...

You're absolutely right. I know it seems to us like we kill a lot of fish sometimes but on the grand scheme of things when you compare freedive spearfishing to other harvesting techniques (i.e. trawling), there is no comparison. A single trawler like the one you described probably kills more fish in a single day than the entire US freediving community does in a year. It's too bad the commercial fishing industry doesn't have the conscience we seem to have.

Scott T.
Yeah money bought theirs conscience :naughty

Last year one of the Trawler boat came here from Türkey coz Türkey does not let them fish in theirs water after they had ripped most of the fish in Marmara and Agean Sea. They can not hunt anywhere in Med Sea. But somehow our goverment let them hunt here. They cought tons of fish in one night. The day after it become headline in local newspaper and all of the local fishing comminity get angry so goverment had to send them back. But who knows may be now they are hunting just out of public's sight, since goverment has nothing to do ! ! !:naughty :naughty
those boats have always been a pain in the a$$ and they will always be!!! although they are forbidden, you can see them in many of the shores hunting illegaly! :naughty :mad: :vangry
Let me tell you something!

As an owner of a seafood company, I know a bit of what's happening with the harvesting of fish..... It's pathetic! I don't want to go into much complicated specifics or dwell on a beaten horse, but I should tell you that MY company does NOT buy imported fish. Can I buy imported grouper from Mexico, Ecuador or Panama @2.00/lb? Sure. Can I buy yellowtails, lanes or silks from Brazil or Costa Rica @1.95? Sure......but I don't. Those fish come soft, gutted (that's what you do when the fish is getting old) smelly and sometimes a glaze is poured on them. The plant facilities on these countries are horrible, I've seen them; there is no HACCP control (like the FDA, but for fish processing plants) which to me makes the operations very unsanitary.
I buy all of my "white fish" from local fishermen (mostly from freedivers who spear in the Florida Keys). The fish is mostly sold to Japanese restaurants for sushi (a speared fish stays fresh longer than line-caught fish because of the quick death. Rigor Mortis takes into effect immediately which permits for the meat to stay firm and no broken meat. Line-caught fish, because of the struggle of fighting, heat develops within and may cause some separation of the proteins inside the fish).
I have also spoken to other chefs who are buying into the idea of buying only local fish instead of the imported stuff. Whenever I have taken a speared black grouper to a chef and if the guy cares about his business and takes pride on being a good chef, the guy recognizes the difference immediately. It's a no brainer. Not only do I help the local guys, but most important I am not succumbing to the guys abroad when they rape the seas (I've already killed enough tunas [on longlines] to spend the rest of my life in shame)
No matter what, fish will always be harvested one way or another. This is just MY way of trying to give back and help the ocean, my country and the sport which I love, spearfishing.
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I did not know that....

Very Informative Antonio. As they say, you learn something new everyday. Particularly, the breakdown of protein within the fish. This makes alot of sense. This also adds water to the theory that a line caught fish which is thrown back into the ocean after a prolonged struggle may be affected in ways that may ultimately contribute to its death or increased exposure to predators.

Another reason why spearfishing seems a more logical/ethical approach to traditional fishing practices.
"This also adds water to the theory that a line caught fish which is thrown back into the ocean after a prolonged struggle may be affected in ways that may ultimately contribute to its death or increased exposure to predators."

Rolando, you really get it. Hey, we are on for Saturday.....let's kill some fish!
Hi all,

Regarding overfishing and who is responsible, I'm going to risk a different opinion. While there are lots of types of fishing that take way more fish than divers, it is pretty clear that for some species in some areas, spearos (like me and some of you) have seriously depleted the resource. Hog fish in the Florida Keys and Bahamas and grouper in shallow water in the Keys come to mind. I had the pleasure and privilage of diving the upper Keys in the late 1960's, the lower keys in the mid 70's and the Marquesas in the late 1970's. The incredible abundance of hogs in the upper keys in 20 to 30 feet is hard to even believe today. Even inexperianced divers could take dozens of large hogs in a morning, every morning. We did. I keep fairly good logs and picture records and the devastation of that resourse is impossible to miss. Since hardly anybody except spearos takes hogs in numbers, the conclusion that we did them in is inescapable.

Parts of the Marquesas were virgin territory in 1977. It was not unusual to find an isolated coral head the size of a car in 35 feet that had a 60 lb + black grouper, a 50, 2 or 3 30's, a half dozen 10-20's and a dozen hogs 4-15 lbs. It was real clear that I could essentially wipe out that small area in one or two visits. Multiply that by thousands of divers and thousands of days for fish that live 30 years and you have a recipe for severe overfishing. In the case of grouper, hook and line and traps took a lot of fish, but in shallow water, 50 ft or less, it is hard to argue that spearos did not contribute substantially to the problem.

Antonio, thanks for the info on fish quality. I always thought my fish was better quality but didn't know why.

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Connor, you are absolutely right, but unfortunately fishing and spearing will go on. Regarding the hog population, we are the ones to blame for cleaning them out. Just imagine, every Dick and Harry who may dive 20ft is pretty able to shoot hogs if present. They are not the Einsteins of the reefs and the meat is quite tasty for which they become an easy target. Not until recently, a limit was put on the hogs and still, I think is not enough. I wouldn't mind if they completetely forbid the harvesting of hogs in Florida, for at least 5 years. Can you imgine what would happen if they would let you shoot snook? People will soon forget what a hog will look like and you'll soon will be able to see people with boats named "Snook Slayer, Snook'em, Snook Ledge, etc, etc" and a picture of a snook on their spearfishing board's Avatar. I know there might be some guys from the West Coast of Florida who might disagree because you could still find 20lb. fish once in a while, but the truth is, that those 20 pounders are being caught with scuba in 160 ft. How sporty is that?


Amazing historical account of fish in the Keys! I can't imagine such a sight but I believe you when you say that's the way it used to be. You're very right about hogfish in the Keys. You know when they start turning 'supermale' before they're even legal size there's a serious problem with the population! I feel so bad for them down there that I refuse to shoot a hogfish in the Keys unless it's like a 7 pounder or something. I agree there should be better protection for hogfish (at least in Monroe County if nowhere else).

Scott T.
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