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    Responsible Spearfishing

    April 20, 2017 3 min read

    Responsible Spearfishing

    Words by Noob Spearo's Turbo.

    It’s now more important than ever for spearfishers to be seen doing the right thing. As society becomes increasingly environmentally conscious there is increased pressure from environmental groups to end many types of hunting and fishing. I believe that as spearfishing becomes more popular and mainstream it will be no different to game hunting and will fall under the spotlight of questionable and very vocal environmental groups. If we don’t take the correct measures now, it could ultimately threaten the sport we all love. I think there are few important steps spearo’s can take to ensure this doesn’t happen.

    1. Responsible Social Media

    Social media is a wonderful thing and we all love holding up our catches and letting the likes roll in. I too am guilty of this but something we should all ask ourselves is how does the general public perceive these photos? There is a shift in the promotion of the sport from images of slaughter to the promotion of the spearfishing lifestyle. It’s a positive move and one we can all get on board with.

    Far too often newcomers to the sport or traveling spearo’s post pictures of undersize catch on Facebook. There is a natural response from spearo’s to name and shame and although this is done with the best intentions and it demonstrates the high level of concern for our fishery by spearo’s, it is actually counterproductive for the image of the sport. It creates a high level of awareness to the fact that spearo’s are doing the wrong thing. In short, it’s bad publicity. I feel it’s better to write a personal message to the person and educate them if it’s an honest mistake or simply pass the details on to the authorities.

    2. Join a governing body

    Governing bodies do a lot for representing the sport and ensuring spearo’s have a united voice. They play a key role in making sure spearo’s have a say when deciding fishing legislation and zoning. In Australia, there is the Australian Underwater Federation (AUF), and the Underwater Skindivers and Fisherman’s Association (USFA) that do great things to keep us in the water. Membership is cheap and there are member benefits such as dive insurance and first aid courses

    3. Respect the rules

    Local fishing rules are there for the preservation of fish stocks and to ensure the health of the ocean. Though they may not always seem logical, they are law and are enforceable with harsh penalties. Apart from these legal ramifications, nothing makes the spearfishing community look worse than obvious undersized catches or spearo’s in green or public appreciation zones. Do us all a favor and make sure you follow the rules and regulations in your area.

    4. Become a custodian of the sea

    Yes, there are rules and regulations set out by governing bodies just about everywhere but it is important for spearo’s to develop their own set of personal rules particularly as one’s skills improve and the hunter becomes more effective. For me, I often limit my catch for a day out. Other spearo’s choose not to shoot fish that are susceptible to spearfishing. As spearo’s we often spend a lot more time in the water and have a lot more contact with our marine ecosystems than fisheries authorities do so we are often good judges of what we should and shouldn’t be doing.