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Old 28-03-2011, 11:13   #31
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Re: Spear Guns, Cross Bows, and Composite Bows?

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Originally Posted by Bash View Post
Oh. Ouch. I've been subjected to the roll-eyes emoticon!

It's not a narrow view of the world, it's a narrow view of those who engage in spearfishing via scuba. Honestly, I don't think we're talking about a lot of octogenarians here. And people with respiratory problems probably shouldn't be diving on compressed air anyway. Back when I was teaching, people with severe asthma or emphysema couldn't get a physician's clearance to dive under any conditions, let alone spearfish.

The fact remains that coral reefs worldwide are seriously depleted of larger gamefish. The culprit here is spearfishing with scuba. Regardless of where you dive, it has become rare to see any gamefish over 10 kg on coral reefs. This isn't because of factory fishing, or deepwater trawling, or long-lining, et cetera. It's because of spearfishing.

A skilled hunter with a full tank of air can unravel a reef's food chain for decades within the scope of a single dive. Ask anyone who started diving before the scuba boom in the early eighties what the reefs were like before being inundated by people who were suddenly able to hunt far deeper than they could free dive.
Been certified/diving since the seventies....there's a lot more than rec SCUBA ruining the reefs...just look at the current National Geo mag and their perspective on the loss of calcification in the marine environment and what it is doing to the world's reefs. Again...most here are talking about a cruiser who takes "A" fish for dinner and NOT some 200 lb plus grouper...

yes the rolled eyes again because while your soapbox is tall...it's out of place for what some are saying here.

I've been a sportsman for 50+ years and have seen/heard a lot of conservation arguments...but as I get older and wiser...all the soapboxes of years past dissolve when i see the realities of getting older and I'm more compassionate for those who can't always do the right thing.

There's an older couple who live on the dock where I do...they take an undersize striperd bass evey now and then for dinner to stretch their budget...do I get as excited about that or about my other buddies who kill 40+ pound breeders on a weekly basis month after month? Right or wrong? Black or white? I may not be the smartest on the planet...but I figured out a lot along the way...

No reason to get off your soapbox when it comes to sporting spearfishing/SCUBA/diving in general...but applying it across the board is a waste of energy and breath and only alienates you from the people who agree with you for the most part...not just the purist attitude.
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Old 28-03-2011, 12:05   #32
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Re: Spear Guns, Cross Bows, and Composite Bows?

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As to being a purist, I suppose I am. As to the diving communities with whom I've been affiliated, I am a retired scuba instructor, having attained the Master Instructor level with PADI and having served as an Instructor Trainer with NAUI. I worked my way through grad school teaching scuba, serving for ten years as the Director of Education for one of the largest dive shops on the west coast. I have logged more than 5,000 instructional dives.
I am an Advanced (lol ) PADI certified Diver and I couldn't swim during my "training" . and I still can't now. But fortunately it was PADI, so that only a minor detail.
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Old 28-03-2011, 13:31   #33
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Re: Spear Guns, Cross Bows, and Composite Bows?

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I am an Advanced (lol ) PADI certified Diver and I couldn't swim during my "training" . and I still can't now. But fortunately it was PADI, so that only a minor detail.
Are you serious? Sink to the bottom and they certify you?
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Old 28-03-2011, 14:30   #34
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Re: Spear Guns, Cross Bows, and Composite Bows?

As Far as I am aware, I have not killed a single reef ...... Yep another PADI master instructor here and as far as I am aware, PADI do a under water hunter cert in the US not in Europe though, go figure. When I do want a fish for the table ( "A" fish ) not the entire population of a reef it makes little difference as to the way I get that fish, be it dangling a hook over the side of the boat, with a sling, throw net or spear fishing. One of them is going to end up in my pot and then spear fishing with or without a cylinder on my back is fair game in my book as it is by far the most selective way of getting sea food on the table. I have not eaten caned tuna in a long time as I don't like the way it s caught. I have lived in a fishing village in the canary islands for the best part of 15 years and it is not the spear-fishing folks that are responsible for the collapse of the fish stocks, so just keep it real.

ATB

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Old 28-03-2011, 14:52   #35
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Re: Spear Guns, Cross Bows, and Composite Bows?

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You may have missed my point. They may be eating the fish but they won't starve if they fish using a different method, more in keeping with conservation efforts, and don't catch something or catch a species that is more plentiful. Just because you eat the fish you catch doesn't make it right.
I'm afraid I still don't get your point... you mean that it's okay to eat a snapper when you caught it snorkeling but not if you caught it scuba-diving?

You catch the fish and eat it... no difference for conservation efforts that I can see.

I'm sure it's because I've been out of 1st world civilization for too long that I see it different.

ciao!
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Old 28-03-2011, 15:03   #36
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Re: Spear Guns, Cross Bows, and Composite Bows?

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Bash, you are still talking about doing this as a form of sport or as "professional", i.e. selling the catch. I agree with you for that.

But if it is to put a fish on your own plate so you can eat that night, I do not agree at all that one can have too much advantage etc. Much is morally allowed in my book to gather food for survival. I would even find it criminal to try to prevent somebody from gathering food to feed his family. ...
So, it's OK morally to hunt/gather your food but not if the food is ultimately purchased by someone to feed themselves/family? Maybe soon we'll hear people preaching outside of grocery stores advising patrons of their sin. "Sin no more. Glean the fields!"
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Old 28-03-2011, 15:05   #37
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Re: Spear Guns, Cross Bows, and Composite Bows?

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So, it's OK morally to hunt/gather your food but not if the food is ultimately purchased by someone to feed themselves/family? Maybe soon we'll hear people preaching outside of grocery stores advising patrons of their sin. "Sin no more. Glean the fields!"
Fine tune that... it's not okay to harvest and sell without regulation to prevent extinction of species etc.

ciao!
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Old 28-03-2011, 15:16   #38
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Re: Spear Guns, Cross Bows, and Composite Bows?

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You may have missed my point. They may be eating the fish but they won't starve if they fish using a different method, more in keeping with conservation efforts, and don't catch something or catch a species that is more plentiful. Just because you eat the fish you catch doesn't make it right.
While I agree with your principles, using a spear gun with SCUBA may actually allow the fisherman to be more selective about the fish he kills to eat. ie - not taking one bigger than needed etc.

Line fishing for example, often will fatally harm fish that aren't wanted, or even legal to keep.

The line fisher has very little control over what he catches, a diver has more, but on SCUBA you have the time to be selective.
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Old 28-03-2011, 15:16   #39
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Re: Spear Guns, Cross Bows, and Composite Bows?

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Fine tune that... it's not okay to harvest and sell without regulation to prevent extinction of species etc.

ciao!
Nick.
I agree with you on that point, but that would apply to both direct harvesting verses purchasing from harvesters.
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Old 28-03-2011, 15:17   #40
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Re: Spear Guns, Cross Bows, and Composite Bows?

Wow, its gettin deep here. I think it gettin a little over the top. The people that are ruing fishing are large corps and gov't polluters, that are the ones to bitch at. They are the ones who spill 20 million gallons of raw sewage out of a plant up the hudson then tell us it imposes no danger, but by the way don't let us catch one you pissing off a boat, it will cost you 10 grand. AS far as fish I have been fishin my whole life and we fisherpeople, are not ruining the fishing, its the floating canneries with the roller rig nets.. whoops there I go sugarcoating it again ......Red
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Old 28-03-2011, 16:22   #41
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Re: Spear Guns, Cross Bows, and Composite Bows?

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I'm afraid I still don't get your point... you mean that it's okay to eat a snapper when you caught it snorkeling but not if you caught it scuba-diving?

You catch the fish and eat it... no difference for conservation efforts that I can see.

I'm sure it's because I've been out of 1st world civilization for too long that I see it different.

ciao!
Nick.
It does depend on the ecology of an area. I'm curious if people always make sure they know the rules where they are and if people bother checking to see if there are species at risk regardless of the rules. It isn't just a question of catching a fish one way or the other but also the likelihood of catching that fish.

I'm very cautious about my fishing practises because I love fishing but consider it important to keep an ecology healthy, so I know the rules where I fish. Around here we have rockfish conservation areas. There is no fishing allowed in these areas at all. Rockfish are an endangered species. The numbers of times I have seen people fishing in no fishing zones and discovered they had no idea about it amazes me. It's most often people who don't fish for sport but fish for food that are the issue since it doesn't seem to occur to them that it could matter.
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Old 28-03-2011, 16:42   #42
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pirate Re: Spear Guns, Cross Bows, and Composite Bows?

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Oh. Ouch. I've been subjected to the roll-eyes emoticon!

It's not a narrow view of the world, it's a narrow view of those who engage in spearfishing via scuba. .. The fact remains that coral reefs worldwide are seriously depleted of larger gamefish. The culprit here is spearfishing with scuba. Regardless of where you dive, it has become rare to see any gamefish over 10 kg on coral reefs. This isn't because of factory fishing, or deepwater trawling, or long-lining, et cetera. It's because of spearfishing.

A skilled hunter with a full tank of air can unravel a reef's food chain for decades within the scope of a single dive. Ask anyone who started diving before the scuba boom in the early eighties what the reefs were like before being inundated by people who were suddenly able to hunt far deeper than they could free dive.

I have again consulted with the crowd at the Scandalbar. We all agreed 100% that it was OK to shoot a grouper on scuba but it would be wrong to shoot a really big one for the trophy.

That's the grouper we want groping grouper.

I do agree with Bash that a good spearguy can put a hurt on a reef population. But there always is that. The dynamiters, the bleachers, the tropical collecters, the no buoy lobsterpotters.

And I agree scuba ups the odds.

I'm saying all the fish-eating scuba diver-spearfisherman around the world are not making a dent in fishstocks.

I was a smalltime comml fisherman, and I was stunned at the -- oh I hate this word: BYCATCH. IF we can fish far more selectively it would make a huge difference.

In the bycatch are all the fish for the future.

The question is rapidly becoming moot. We're not going to stop scraping the bottom any time soon.
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Old 28-03-2011, 16:50   #43
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Re: Spear Guns, Cross Bows, and Composite Bows?

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The question is rapidly becoming moot. We're not going to stop scraping the bottom any time soon.
I don't think we've even begun to understand the magnitude of that tragedy.
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Old 28-03-2011, 17:07   #44
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Re: Spear Guns, Cross Bows, and Composite Bows?

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I'm afraid I still don't get your point... you mean that it's okay to eat a snapper when you caught it snorkeling but not if you caught it scuba-diving? ...
How many of us could spear a fish on SCUBA, who couldn't free-diving?
Some? Lots? Most? Not none!
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Old 28-03-2011, 17:53   #45
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Re: Spear Guns, Cross Bows, and Composite Bows?

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As to being a purist, I suppose I am. As to the diving communities with whom I've been affiliated, I am a retired scuba instructor, having attained the Master Instructor level with PADI and having served as an Instructor Trainer with NAUI.
--------------and I'd be embarrassed to be seen with it while on scuba, because only a diver seriously deficient of skills would stoop to such a practice.
Bash, I too am a long time SCUBA instructor who started off as a spearfisherman and have seen the development and establishment of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park which whilst it has restricted fishing in all forms most would agree that it provides a fish breeding resource for the future. I feel as you do using spearguns.

Clearly spearfishing on SCUBA is a touchy subject for many and I can understand how I would feel if Spearfishing were to be banned altogether and for many banning spearfishing on SCUBA those that do so would feel rather alienated. Another right taken away by regulations

As I get older and ones physical ability deteriates I expect I will struggle to spear a fish at the depth I would have been able to when younger and fitter. This is something I have to accept (no fish) as I could not put on SCUBA to do so.

From lifetime observation of fish diving all round Australia and particually the GBR and Coral Sea I believe banning SCUBA spearfishing effectively creates a conservation zone below 40ft for the bottom dwelling species.

Thesedays as distinct from the early days one has to get copies of the rules and maps(free) of the GBR marine park and check area, banned species, seasonal closures as ignorance is no defence. Similarly access to SCUBA tanks, air fills, cheap surface air supplied units(HOOKA), increased population and many more boats has meant if SCUBA spearfishing were allowed an increased fishing effort. That said line fishing and proffessional fishing effort is greater.

My view but it seems this discussion could be almost as hot as anchors and guns! then again we are talking guns.

Happy cruising
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