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Old 12-10-2013, 11:35   #16
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Re: Sailing/spearing (around the world)

Over the years I've noticed the decline in fish stocks while diving. You'll see just why this is so, if you have the chance to watch commercial fishing vessels unload their catch. Truck loads! I can't understand why it is still allowed.
The quantities that sport fishermen take are negligible by comparison.
Great pics Nate. Good luck and keep us posted.

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Old 12-10-2013, 12:04   #17
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Re: Sailing/spearing (around the world)

I too am an avid diver and spear fisherman, fortunate enough to live half the year in the Bahamas. All we use are Hawaiian slings. Short 3' 3/16" for crawfish and 5-6' 1/4" for fish. You need the weight for the impact and short spear to get under the ledges for bugs. All done free diving. Hog fish are my favorite. I stopped shooting Nassau grouper years ago, too much like shooting someone's dog off their porch. But rock fish ( spotted or black grouper) are a different story. Unfortunately the locals are wiping everything out with their traps.

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Old 12-10-2013, 12:26   #18
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What about the lion fish? I hear they are good eating and a problem fish and they encourage hunting them. Had a delicious hog fish last May in the Bahamas but we weren't seeing a lot around the Berry Islands.
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Old 12-10-2013, 16:08   #19
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Last trip to the Bahamas we killed an average of two lion fish per snorkel trip. A lot of days we would go for a morning and afternoon trip. Did not keep many for eating though, just the occasional large one. Good eating but a lot of work. Interesting that the small ones we would remove from the spear, would be ignored by the trigger fish as they sank to the bottom. They sure would not ignore a hog fish!
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Old 15-10-2013, 12:45   #20
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Re: Sailing/spearing (around the world)

Originally Posted by ShaktiGurl View Post
What about the lion fish? I hear they are good eating and a problem fish and they encourage hunting them. Had a delicious hog fish last May in the Bahamas but we weren't seeing a lot around the Berry Islands.
I've seen them all over the Caribbean - FL, the Bahamas and Belize. I've never eaten them but everyone I've spoken to says they're delicious (supposed to be a good, white meat).

I saw them on almost every dive, and if I wasn't already stalking something else I'd shoot them. It makes me feel like I'm contributing a little, but honestly - I'm not sure if that's the answer to the problem...
Planning a spearfishing/freediving/sailing circumnavigation. Find out more here:
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Old 16-10-2013, 22:41   #21
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Re: Sailing/spearing (around the world)

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Good to have you here.
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Old 16-10-2013, 23:41   #22
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Perception is reality

I've been spearfishing all of my life. Some of my earliest memories is catching food from the seas. I was taught a few rules which include never to take more than you can eat and never take a female of the species. With a practiced eye you can tell. That was all sport diving.

I was also a commercial fisherman. We took pelagic and ground fish. Granted, some of the operations I saw involved enough waste a guy could earn a good income just by following those operations. That is no exaggeration. Govt regulation did that. Inane govt regulation permitted so and so species could be taken but by catch had to be dumped. And I could but won't devolve this into the practices of various nations, that one nation is more wasteful than another nation. Most every commercial fisherman I had come to know was extremely careful of the resource. That is to say by their practices they were better stewards than the various organizations which project an image of saving this or that. Again, I don't wish to start a pissing match of who is better. All I am saying here is commercial fishermen I had known was not the massive production boats engaged in extremely wasteful practices that may readably come to mind.

Having left the commercial industry I spent a few yrs in the sport boats taking sport fishermen out. Even many of those skippers would skip over prized areas in order to limit the impact to the fishery of various specie.

We are all concerned for the value of the resource and seek to perpetuate that. The one over riding concern I have is the suspect reports from govt agencies tasked with managing the resources. I have first hand knowledge of how govt agencies had expressed a desire to acquire knowledge but decried how they were unable to due to lack of on the water observation. When those opportunities were freely afforded those scientists by the commercial or sport boats the agencies said no. But absent real data did not preclude them from authoring reports. This is what govt agencies do. They write reports and they seek grant monies.

They preferred to wait until their agencies could budget to buy their own boats. And they did. When came the day that they would buy their own boats they would follow the comm and sport boats then to bolster the reports they had already submitted to higher ups or the legislature.

Some examples are 'they' wrote reports of various pelagic free swimmers such as various tuna species. They wrote as early as the 1950s that the North Pacific Blue Fin tuna population is threatened by overfishing. Later reports indicate the apparent difficulty in tracking pelagic species is due to the very nature of being free swimmers, namely that the majority of the population remains too deep for impact from fishery and too deep for tracking. The earlier reports were amended but held to the tenet that overfishing was the culprit.

The same can be said of the various species of Salmon. Salmon are easier to track but again the apparent cause for low population counts was overfishing. Later reports indexed population counts to stream flows where the Salmon are spawned. Still, the culprit was overfishing.

Also, I happen to know a man who got elected to the state legislature because his campaign promise was to eliminate a certain fishery (halibut). The commercial fishermen of that species were slackjawed. Never had their been a drop in numbers of the harvest. But the perception amongst the public had been artificially contrived that we must do something drastic to preserve the species. He is now the Lt governor of CA.

Such is government. Govt agencies are solutions looking for a problem. It is manifest to find a crisis in order to secure funding which ensures the longevity of the agency.

Does overfishing occur? Yes but it is centralized and the impact is less than what the various agencies report. Keep in mind govt agencies charged with resource mgmt must report this in order to win funding. Grant writing is very competitive.
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Old 17-10-2013, 00:02   #23
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Re: Sailing/spearing (around the world)

Witness the Grand Banks. We all 'know' the cod is depleted, right? Or could it be the population is intact but elsewhere, ie, not on the Grand Banks?

I'm a west coast fisherman. All I know of the Grand Banks is what you too have heard. Believe me I have kept my ears open.

But what I do know is that many of the reports about west coast fisheries are derived from data that indicate a certain species is missing from some location which had traditionally yielded great fish counts but not recently. Two possible explanations: either the species population is threatened or they moved elsewhere.

Didja know ground fish migrate? A halibut tagged in Santa Monica Bay was caught in Morro Bay. A ray tagged in San Diego was caught in Jack Creek which is a small tributary of the Salinas River which flows north to empty into the estuary at Moss Landing. It wasn't too long ago that the consensus among scientists was the Great White shark is highly territorial. Right around then it when I had my first sighting of 2 GW's swimming within a few short miles of one another. Now the understanding is they come together but only to breed. Yet explain the numerous sightings around the Farallons and Ano Nuevo and even Monterey Bay. One GW cannot be in two places at once. Is it possible they don't know of the presence of one another and if they did it would be a battle? Yes. But should a study conclude that the species is territorial? What conclusion if any should come of physical observation? Is it not logical that the conclusion is more observation is necessary before a conclusion can be determined? And if so determined would that conclusion not allow for further examination from which a wholly different conclusion can be had? Well, if you are a biologist for a govt agency you may be quite reluctant to retract and earlier conclusion. Has something to do with losing face in the scientific community.

But hey, don't let that stop anyone from positively 'knowing' what happened to the fishies. I'm all for increased knowledge but incomplete knowledge as the basis for reports which effect policy is my peeve. I mean, when the earth is shown as flat why is it always shown as a circle? Why isn't it shown as a square or a trapezoid or some other 2 D depiction? How does anyone pretend to know what a flat earth should be shown as? Such is the way of govt. Might makes right.
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Old 17-10-2013, 00:34   #24
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Re: Sailing/spearing (around the world)

A very illustrious college professor took his part in forming my questioning attitude. It is by questioning that we may ultimately end with the truth of such things. John Bowen, PhD was kind to me in my pursuit for an advanced degree in Geology...or Gee golly gee...meaning I wonder what these physical observations mean. The pursuit of knowledge is sometimes fanciful. But when that fancy writes policy which affects us all then I have a problem. Creative writing is no longer the exclusive domain of the journalist, they now write reports which are the basis of policy.

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round the world, sail, sailing

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