Spearfishing is another ancient sport – with drawings dating back 16,000 years ago. Over the years it has evolved from standing onshore and spearing fish with sharpened sticks; to its modern form – using heavy rubber bands or pneumatic gas to power underwater spearguns. Most (if not all) underwater diving gear was created by early sport spearfishermen. Even SCUBA diving owes the creation of it’s modern equipment to early sport spearfishermen.
Modern spearfishing takes place underwater – using SCUBA or freediving techniques to get close to fish and spear them. Freedive spearfishing is more challenging, and SCUBA spearfishing is outlawed in many countries where it continues to be legal to freedive spearfish. But legality should never be the definition of morality – and this sport is a keen example of that. Line fisherman, commercial fisherman, and charter fisherman all too often vote against spearfishing with their dollars – which they have infinitely more of. Spearfishing, by it’s definition – diving underwater and getting within range of the fish – is far more challenging and dangerous than line, commercial, or charter fishing and thus less people participate in it. This has resulted in a number of illogical regulations that penalize spearfisherman.
By any account, spearfishing is the most selective and sustainable method of harvesting fish – with no bycatch, little (if any) bait used, and a genuinely inefficient means of fishing. Consider that every fish taken by spearfishermen is seen, identified, and then (if they can get close enough) speared and landed. While commercial shrimping and fishing continues to pillage our ocean – I hope you consider (as I do) spearfishermen as ethical and selective, and the sport as selective and sustainable.
A Spearfishing Guide
If you’re interested in learning more about spearfishing, please do read on. This will, over time, be a comprehensive spearfishing guide. On the right you’ll see a slideshow of books I own on the subject, available on Amazon. Below you’ll see my reasons for choosing spearfishing and a in-depth review of spearfishing gear.
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