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Spearfishing: Good or Bad?

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Still a newbie here. But here's what I think: Killing for a life-supporting issue is NOT a bad deed. That is, if you kill fish and 2 hours later you're eating it, is not an issue. You are merely supporting your own life. (If you hadn't caught any, and you'd want fish for dinner, you'd have to buy it commercially no? - which makes it just the same) Incidentally while spear fishing, this brings about the excitement of waiting in ambush, and the hunting - and there's nothing wrong in that. I still disapprove af scuba-spearfishing because morally, I don't think it's fair on both parties when one weighs the advantages and disavantages of both. Fish will always breath underwater and they will always be more agile and fast than man will be in their own environment. However fish don't have spearguns. Men on the other hand has the advantage of a speargun but the disadvantage of having to repeatedly come up for air plus cumbersome, bulky, slow movements. This seems like a balanced equation to me, which would however topple towards man if you were to supply him with scuba, thus eliminating one of man's greatest disadvantages. Let's not forget that nature made everything perfect the way it is, and doesn't waste anything following death. An unsuccessfully - speared (accidental - not purposely) wounded fish, slowely dying out will still constitute food for other fish and marine creatures, even though you'd look at it in dismay. This may sound cruel to you, but if you had caught it, you'd be eating it yourself. Now other creatures are eating it. That's the way nature goes IMO.
A great white ripping a small cute seal is not a nice thing to see in a documentary, yet nobody of the filming crew on a boat did anything to help the little seal. If they did, they would be interfering with nature's life cycle. That's the circle of life!!
I am more concerned and disapprove killings where they are not justified. Like for example: 1) Testing the enormous power of nuclear weapons of mass destruction in the pacific. For what????? 2) Killing land creatures for ONLY their fur. As if man doesn't have alternative ways to keep warm?????? 3) Beating to death defenseless seals for blood sport. Why????? 4) Chain-sawing shark fins for soup. As if soup can only be made that way???????. Please excuse the out of subject issues - and one other thing which will shock you even more.....do you feel the same when a fish attacks a human? Why is it that man is regarded as something ABOVE nature. Man is just another animal in the eyes of creatures stronger and more powerful. He is more intelligent perhaps, but still another animal - meat and bones - and thus edible just the same. Shocked are you? You might be but that's reality!!
Scar, I hear your points and appreciate the tone of your argument. However, you are justifying your ethic on your level of use of equipment, stating that a scubadiver uses too much man-made (using his mind or the product of another man's mind) equipment. In that case, where is your tolerance level for the man-made gear? I use carbon/plastic polymer fins, a mask, gun, wetsuit, snorkel, computer, etc, etc... You see my point? If we are accepting that a man can use his brain to create something that makes his hunt easier, then why stop at the levels you and I use as freedivers? Who am I that I get to declare that 'this is the amount of science one can use to hunt' ?
We either state that we enter the water naked with no gear and try to catch our food, or state that we use our greatest gift (our minds) to increase our chances of success. Hopefull ethically and ecologically.
Erik Y.
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Hiya there Eric,
Yeah, i got your point all right mate. The difference (in the way I see it) is that there's something in my mind which all the time reminds me to be as fair as possible regarding everything I do. While it's true that man has indeed conquered (for a limited amount of time) the challenge to remain under for more than he can accomplish without any gear, I disapprove of using the utmost equipment which man has invented to catch fish. Scuba gear is in itself a remarkable accomplishment....but fish can't accomplish anything similar. It would be like fish invented gear to breathe on land! A challenge of more or less equal proportions on both sides would be for the man to use the most possible of his scientific inventions UNTIL THE SO CALLED "EQUATION" BECOMES MORE OR LESS EQUAL TO BOTH. Now that would be fair.
To view this more clearly, one must make a list of advantages and disadvantages which man has when in water AND compare it to a similar list of advantages and disadvantages which fish have in the same environment...water. If we were to use ALL of scientific equipment available today, then it's even possible to hunt using a submersible....if you could afford it....and so never even having to get wet!!
I've learnt that for everything, there's a price. If you want to be rewarded with the highest views on Earth, then the price is to climb and face the elements. (Comfortable alternative - take a helicopter ride) If you want to view the magnificence of wildlife, then the price is to put yourself in danger amongst the wild animals. (Comfortable alternative - go to a zoo). There's always a comfortable alternative to everything and it's NEVER the best solution. (my opinion). The most rewarding benefits come from an equal and fair competition. Fish can't shoot you! But yes, you can. Fish can breathe under, and yes, you can (with scuba) - but that's 2 in your favour mate!! Much fairer if you don't use scuba. That's 1 to 1.
This is of course just my opinion, I surely don't condemn you if you enjoy and use scuba for spearfishing. You have a right to your opinion too and I respect that. I am still a beginner amongst you experienced spearos. One thing I think I can say is agreeable, common grounds for both of us...... And that's the last phrase of your post......"ethically and ecologically".
I am ashamed to say that myself....yes, I speared fish of 6 inches in length .....wrasses and breams but they were my first ever fish to be speared. Still unexperienced and doubtful of which fish to take makes me more prone to mistakes (and that's not mentioning over-excitement) besides the fact that the Mediterranean seems like dead compared to the greater oceans. However I still made a broth from them ...so I guess nothing really wasted there. I just hope that in the future, I'll learn quickly with the least possible impact to marine life. After all that's why I joined the forum ....to learn!!!
Happy hunting mate...and dive safe!
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hawaiianstyle said:
I have no shame in admitting that I get a thrill when shooting fish. I work hard to get those few shots. The fish where I hunt are very akamai (smart), they do not stick around for long. To be honest, I do not know what drives me to spearfish more, the actual hunt ( and yes I'm looking and waiting for the elusive 100lb ulua like every other diver here) or bringing home fish for dinner. Everyone is getting way to da kine, uh, high maka maka about this subject. lol. Culturally speaking, spearfishing is a way of life where I live. So long you are responsible, and follow the regulations whats the big deal? And to the guy who talked about fish having feelings... maybe, maybe not... definitly not feeling good hanging on my kui after having a knife stuck in their brain and a metal rod inserted through their gills and out their mouth. But hey, death and life go hand in hand. Do I have the right to kill fish? maybe, maybe not. Does the tiger shark have the right to kill me? Maybe, maybe not. Whos to say. Aloha ka ko!
I am so agree, that maybe sounds cold but i must to admit that the feeling of a fish dying and fighting in a spear its a total turn on in my nature, and along with that i do feel to have done the right thing. I have two daugthers and i love to give them wild fish meat to prevent them from disease, and deep inside i love the fish and i treasure each fish that i have speared, in some way i bless them. And thank God to still have fish to spear ... I know a lot of spearfisherman, and almost all of them are brave, compassionate people that just hunt with honor and pride the big ones, and let alone the harmless and defenseless creatures ... As Edmund Keialoha Parker, a Great Hawaiian said when he was asked why he was teaching the deadly art of Hawaian kenpo to all the people who wanted to learn, he said: A criminal does not develope a weapon, he would rather buy one. :martial We develope our skills and love for the ocean to become so ethicaly deadly to only spear and land that swiming lightning of beautyness that a fish represents ... We go accordingly with our deepest and real nature and hunt the fish instead of just buy one with money an do the same thing, preserve life with death ... for must of us the whole thing is in a ritual and may be mistic dimension ...
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i really find the different trains of thought interesting.i find that most people that find a problem with spearfishing(or fishing in general) are from first world countries.I live in the Amazon and for the people here its just a meal to survive.its about as contraversial as taking a bath. I freedive but I don't have a problem with bubble blowers. Know what your killing and eat what you kill
Wow! Tucunare that one hitted like a sledge hammer :ko You are totally right, I dont know any local fisherman (or any sea creature for that matter), feeling sorry for themselves. Its about something that goes deep in our nature, is in a word an essential thing. We are so arrogant about our rational nature that we think we are better than the creatures we hunt. And thus we are in position to say that is right or wrong ... As Hawaiianstyle said sharply about the tiger Shark by the way. The true beauty of spearfishing is we return to the roots and become part of the food chain. We are no loger allmighty humans, but vulnerable and weak creatures as well...

P.S. I love this forum i can´t believe we can share all that points of view with so many people around the world!!!
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Huan said:
Unless you are one hell of a beginner, I suspect that your actions will make no difference to the fish population.

One 2-3lb bass within 30 seconds of loading my speargun for the first time! I thought I was going to prove you wrong Then, after a rather time consuming reload, a second larger bass in less than a minute ...except I left the safety on ...doh! (I had been warned not to use it).

The rest of the week was not good, for fishing: cloudy water with only the odd rare glimpse of fuzzy fish figures, family activities & tides. The weather had been great though so we extended the holiday an extra day. Last day one bass swam under me in a narrow gulley (no shot possible), a second swam in front of the tip of my speargun -- a sure kill I thought -- but I failed to pull the trigger (hard to explain -- maybe waiting for the perfect shot?). Next up a rather large exotic looking fish (a beautiful 5.5lb ballan wrasse it transpired later, red, orange with white spots -- like a wild cat); despite their reputation, it tasted fine, although on balance I will probably leave them in the future -- very pretty.

So, a week of spearfishing resulted in a fantastic fresh, organic fish dinner for the family twice, with the last fish big enough to invite Grandma over to dinner. So, I guess you were right -- not much impact there. (The delicious lemon sole eaten in a local restaurant is another story though!).

I am desperate to get out once or twice more this year ... but there are so many things on. I have found a couple of potential spearo partners now (brother & best friend) though -- so fingers crossed.
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I know that is an old thread but it's very interesting.

I live in Italy where you can't spearfishing with a tank. I think that it's right for the Mediterranean sea. In the ocean is different.

The real problems for the sea are pollution and overfishing.

We have to support spearfishing all over the world. We have to explain that we are not barbarians who want destroy the sea life.

Therefore, we have to respect the country laws and do our best to give a good image of our sport.

All the best,

Spearfishing with a tank:
For me this is totally unacceptable. For one it devalues the skill and considerable training that real breathhold fishermen work hard for. The considerable noise created by bubble blowing usually eliminates the possible of catching the more prized species therefore either juveniles or lesser species are taken. The other alternative is searching for flatties, but you don't even require a gun for these a knife will usually suffice. We had a prime example a few months back in Jersey. A lady wrote into our local paper complaining about a scuba diver emerging with a speargun and small flat fish from an area viewed as a pretty decent fishing spot. The full page article concluded in calling for the area to be band for spearfishing. The principle problem is that anyone can don a tank, take a gun and stand a chance of shooting a fish. Anyone who's given true spearfishing a serious try knows that it takes considerable time and effort before you catch your first fish let alone your first prize fish. I implore anyone out there who takes a speargun whilst scuba diving to desist and seek the guidance of skilled underwater hunters.



I think you are correct with regard to the scuba.

I admit that I have used scuba to spear fish - although this was perhaps my introduction to spearfishing. I easily speared 5 pollack in the space of about 15 minutes.

I would have to say that skill still plays a part in managing that type of kill rate.

I have hunted from an early age with 25 years of experience of stalking wood pigeons and rabbit - I like to think that my aim and understanding of stalking prey is now quite extensive.

I'm pleased to say that I now far prefer the spear fishing without the scuba kit. The silence and stealth is a revelation! I imagine that the scuba kit will now be used only for cleaning the hull of my boat.

With regard to public reaction to hunting in general I think it has actually become more accepted - especially within the last year.

In Brighton we have restaurants focusing on game and locally caught produce. 10 years ago you would not find trendy restaurants selling pigeon as an expensive main course. But now its become popular.

Spearfishing really is the ultimate in hunting. I enjoy the factors that limit its appeal; the skill, fitness and mindset. These factors play heavily in our favour.
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