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#104037 06/01/05 02:18 PM
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Hey folks,

I spearfish in FL and was wondering if it's permitted on AC? Freedive or scuba? I don't think I'd pursue on the trip I'm about to take, but it might be fun for the future. I would like to freedive for bugs if that's allowed. Will the scuba operators or fishing charters allow you to grab some lobster?

#104038 06/01/05 02:42 PM
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Please keep your spear at home, our environment is fragile enough as it is.

#104039 06/01/05 04:12 PM
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I was able to spearfish last year with our guide on a beach bbq snorkel trip. Speared lobster, snappers, etc & took them back to the beach for one of the best bbq's I've ever had.
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#104040 06/01/05 07:53 PM
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Spleen, listen to SimonB. If everyone came down and hired a guide and went out and caught what they wanted to eat ( spearfishing is legal free diving ) then just think how much worse off the marine eco system would be as opposed to the harvesting of under sized lobster and conch, the allowing of Honduranean shrimp boats in Belezean waters, the use of fish traps and gill nets and the out of control dredging to make land.

When you are sitting on a beach made by dredging, eating your conch ceviche made from undersized conch and eating your fish that came from a fish trap where 10 fished died to get you the one you are eating, just think how much you are contributing by leaving your spear back in Florida. :rolleyes:

#104041 06/02/05 02:54 AM
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For the record, I'm talking about spearing adult fish intended for the dinnertable, not "shorts" or killing for sport. How is spearing different than line fishing from a boat, btw? The advantage if spearing is that you know the type and size of the fish *before* you hook it and haul it in.

And bywarren, I think you're right that commercial fishing, especially without regulation or enforcement, is the the real hazard to the marine ecosystem. Spearfishers don't kill 10 fish to get one, nor do they hunt undersized fish or create "bycatch". The good news is not "everyone" can or will come down with a spear because very few folks can freedive at all. The long and short of it is that recreational fishing, above and below water, is considerably lower-pressure and more sustainable than any commercial fishing.

#104042 06/02/05 10:50 PM
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Spleen: While spearfisherman are not exactly my favorites (mainly because of what was done to the Jewfish in Florida from 1940 to 1960 under the name of "commercial spearfishing") I have to agree withyou that any recreational fishing is low-presure compared to commercial fishing - nets, long-lines, whatever. There has never been or will be a species wipe-out by rod and reel. Too many variables! Yes skeptics its just that simple.

#104043 06/03/05 08:07 AM
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I'm interested in what size fish you consider a good catch? Would be that be the larger breeding stock?

#104044 06/03/05 08:44 AM
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SimonB, you are totally missing the point of the argument shown by your leading question. Unless your premise is that fish should not be harvested and eaten, then the question is how is the best way to harvest the fish. I challenge anyone to make an argument that any other method of harvesting fish is less detrimental to the sustainability of the species than spear fishing.

This topic has come up before, and it always seems that some are opposed to spear fishing but have no argument or facts that support any better way to put a fish on the dinner table.

#104045 06/03/05 10:30 AM
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Okay maybe I'm prejudiced but my feeling is that if you're down there spear fishing you're not looking for little fish but the bigger ones which are the breed stock. Line fishing is much more hit and miss and on a percentage basis you're much less likely to be taking breed stock. Of course, you then run into those who keep every single fish they catch no matter how small or how many and that can only be remedied by regulations. That's not likely to happen until it's too late as been shown over and over again both in the sportfishing and commercial fishing realms.

I'm a firm believer in catch and release and slot limits instead of catch limits as the only way to sustainably fish. The problem is that by the time we set any kind of limits the stocks will be depleted, the fishing guides will be out of business and commercial fishing for many whose lives depend upon it will also become a thing of the past.

Look at the stocks from 10 or 15 years ago to today, where there used to be mass schools traveling the waters of AC there are virtually none. Commercial over fishing and all take sportfishing are major contributors. No, I wasn't here back then but my closest friend was born on this island and her father has been a fishermen all of his life so my information comes from a reliable source.

I guess I just don't have faith that when faced with a big ass snapper that someone with a spear is not going to let loose. At least with hook and line the fish has a better chance at outwitting the angler IMHO.

#104046 06/03/05 11:11 AM
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It is also ILLEGAL to actually spear a lobster any lobster found with a hole in it you run the risk of a lot of hassle and grief and a big fine the guide runs the risk of losing his license (if he actually has a license as taking tourists spearfishing is not the best choice and condoning the spearing of lobster shows the lack of professionalism of that guide)

I agree spearfishing should not be encouraged when we make our living off showing visitors the beauty of the underwater life and while on occasion we that live here sometimes go and catch our dinner it is understandable that if we took every tourist out spearfishing there would quickly be nothing left.

Dive safe

Gaz

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