Sorry to interrupt this eloquent and constructive *cough* debate with my ignorance. When we are talking about spear fishing are we talking about spear guns or just a hand held spear? I did not know it was illegal to spear a lobster (not that I did) but my guide did with a hand held spear (in season and not a small lobster). I understand completely about fishing without respect for the environment. Where I grew up crabbing was what I spent my time doing. We had a few rules. You didn't take anything under a certain size; if you caught a stone crab with two claws you could only take one and if it it only had one you couldn't take any (I still have some reservations about that one), if you caught a blue crab carrying eggs, you could not take her.
Recently I went back there and there are no stone crab or blue crab to be caught. Clearly someone didn't follow the rules.
It does seem logical though that one tourist, spearing (non mechanically) fish for his supper is likely to cause less damage to the environment than one tourist going to a restaurant where the fish may have been caught by net, trap or some other form of fishing which results in multiple and often pointless wastage.
I genuinely would love more information on sound and ethical fishing practices so that I can get my dinner causing least environmental impact. Also so that I can be well enough informed to choose my guides carefully. As a forum geared towards visitors, it would be much more useful if local business people and local people would give practical information rather than use this as a way to bitch at eachother. Quite frankly bitching is much more entertaining when done in a bar.