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Spearfishing with a dive light?

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Stargazer

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Jan 5, 2021
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One of my diving friends told that flashlights are not allowed in France during spearfishing. And I also checked it's illegal to use an artificial light to spearfish in Australia & many other countries. I'm wondering the reasons. And where do you make spearfishing? Are there any other restrictions? :coffee:Thanks!
 

Mr. X

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Possibly because the French coasts have been overfished?
 

Kodama

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Jun 20, 2016
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Possibly because the French coasts have been overfished?

I don’t think the french coast is overfished at all. Actually the fish are doing so well that they are discussing raising the quota later un 2021.

No-flashlights have been the norm in France for as long as I can remember. I think the main reason is that it is considered unsportsmanlike.

After years of hunting in France I have actually improved my hunting skills because of it and i believe that lights are often overrated.
Learn yourself how to have your eyes adjust to the dark by closing them for a few seconds before scanning the hole.
You would be surprised how rarely you need a light really.
More skills, less gear....
 

Kodama

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Jun 20, 2016
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Does no flashlights in France effectively mean no night hunting? In California most hunting for lobsters is done at night. And many guys that hunt lobster at night also carry a halibut hammer.

halibut hammer

Indeed it means no spearfishing at night for the same reason. It is considered unsportsmanlike since the fish sleep at night and are too easy to shoot. I have done some nightdiving and noticed the fish are indeed dormant and you can basically pet them if you wanted to.
I have been intrigued by these halihammers and would love to try one, I guess they are just as effective during the day.

Also you are not allowed to spear lobsters (for the same reason) and the ones we have here, Homarus Gammarus, has claws so you better know how to distract them while reaching for their back.

1237ad4441e46d57c3b095fd6bac82aa.file
 
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Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
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In California we aren't allowed to spear lobsters or use any other hooked device to get them out of holes. This leads to some confusion. If you carry a speargun or halibut hammer with a flopper shaft is the flopper a hooked device? I've heard that different game wardens have different opinions.

Florida has different laws. There you may use snare or something called a tickle stick to get then out of their holes.

I don't think halibut hammers are quite as effective during the day. The halibut are spookier and less likely to let you get that close.
 

Kodama

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Jun 20, 2016
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In California we aren't allowed to spear lobsters or use any other hooked device to get them out of holes. This leads to some confusion. If you carry a speargun or halibut hammer with a flopper shaft is the flopper a hooked device? I've heard that different game wardens have different opinions.

Florida has different laws. There you may use snare or something called a tickle stick to get then out of their holes.

I don't think halibut hammers are quite as effective during the day. The halibut are spookier and less likely to let you get that close.
That sounds indeed confusing. So let's say someone has harvested fish while spearing but brought up a lobster by hand and is checked by a warden upon reaching shore, can he get fined for having a speargun in his possession even if it was not used during the harvest of the lobster?
 

Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
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But since we're discussing lobsters, I quit hunting them years ago. I would only take one if it attacked me while spearfishing anyway, and then the state started requiring a lobster card that is an extra purchase in addition to the fishing license. When you get out of the water you have to fill it out with the date and location and number of lobsters. That wouldn't be so odious but before you go in the water you have to fill it out too. So if you came back to the boat or shore with a lobster and the warden checked you before you could fill out the card, then you have broken the law. I guess the rationale must be that the state wants data on how successful divers are in hunting lobster, but I'm not about to fill out a card every time I get in the water just in case I may run across a lobster.
 

Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
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That sounds indeed confusing. So let's say someone has harvested fish while spearing but brought up a lobster by hand and is checked by a warden upon reaching shore, can he get fined for having a speargun in his possession even if it was not used during the harvest of the lobster?
Possibly. I have the impression that most wardens won't cite you as long as the lobsters don't have holes in them, but some have. And then the diver has to go to court and take his chances with a judge.
 
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Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
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But since I'm shamelessing changing the subject from flashlights at night, abalone diving is like a minefield and much more complicated than lobster. For many years we could only take them north of the Golden Gate bridge, and then last year the fishery was closed completely. But before then it was a regulatory nightmare. Examples: You must carry a measuring device capable of measuring the ab to make sure it is 7 inches in diameter. Some guys want to be more selective and take abs only if they are at least 10 inches in diameter so they carry 10 inch gauges. So they return to shore with abalone that are all over 10 inches, but they are cited because they don't have a 7 inch gauge. Or this one- two divers exit the water with limits of abs that are all over 7 inches. The warden checks them and they are good. They are at a state park and walk up to a public restroom. One guy goes into the rest room while the other says outside and guards their catch. The guy outside is cited for possession of more than the legal limit.

I could go on, but you get the idea.
 
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Gab

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Aug 4, 2011
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I don’t think the french coast is overfished at all. Actually the fish are doing so well that they are discussing raising the quota later un 2021.

No-flashlights have been the norm in France for as long as I can remember. I think the main reason is that it is considered unsportsmanlike.

After years of hunting in France I have actually improved my hunting skills because of it and i believe that lights are often overrated.
Learn yourself how to have your eyes adjust to the dark by closing them for a few seconds before scanning the hole.
You would be surprised how rarely you need a light really.
More skills, less gear....

The French, Spanish and Italian coasts are completely overfished (Mediterranean).
 
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Gab

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Aug 4, 2011
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From traditional commercial fishing methods or are you referring to over-fishing from spearfishing here?
I am referring to there are no fish in the water :) (other than Salema porgy), I assume it is mostly commercial fishing that takes all there is to take; at least I hope it is. I only take what we can eat and I don't try to take the biggest fish I can see since they are the mature reproducers and we need them to replenish fish stocks.
 
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Roxton

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Jan 31, 2020
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I used a flashlight for spearfishing only with a pole spear in the intertidal zone during baseflow in knee deep water in the Philippines. I observed collecting seafood during night with flashlights is very common by indigenous on the Islands I visited. Night spearfishing with scuba gear is also practiced on the bigger Islands.

I caught during baseflow Bluespotted ribbontail rays, painted morays and Eels. This fish ignore the light completely and were easy to hunt, other species flee in panic.
 

DivingNomad

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Sep 21, 2015
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I am referring to there are no fish in the water :) (other than Salema porgy), I assume it is mostly commercial fishing that takes all there is to take; at least I hope it is. I only take what we can eat and I don't try to take the biggest fish I can see since they are the mature reproducers and we need them to replenish fish stocks.

And then they blame the spearos.

The Italians, Greeks, Tunisians and Egyptians fished out their seas and come to Libya illegally to decimate the fish population there.
 
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Kodama

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Jun 20, 2016
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I believe both are overfished.

As someone who dives both the med and the Atlantic and channel often I dare to say that the difference is huge in the amount of fish you encounter.
They are all very different habitats as well so it Is difficult to draw a direct comparison.

What baseline are we measuring against? The situation how it was a century ago or a decade ago?
 
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