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#325959 - 03/01/09 08:02 PM Spear fishing  
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 842
pamkillen Offline
pamkillen  Offline
What are the laws regarding spear fishing. I was snorkeling at the reef today at the cut across from the Palms and a boat came out with some people who started spear fishing where we were swimming.They were in a real estate agent boat so maybe they know it was allowed. I don't know. If anyone does know the law, please share that information. I admit I got scared.

#325970 - 03/01/09 08:57 PM Re: Spear fishing [Re: pamkillen]  
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,070
belizeonthebeach Offline
belizeonthebeach  Offline
Boy I could jump on this but what little good judgement I have left tells me to refrain.
As far a I know it is illegal to spearfish while diving. Thats the only rule.

#325974 - 03/01/09 09:41 PM Re: Spear fishing [Re: belizeonthebeach]  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 208
scubawalk Offline
scubawalk  Offline
From news report a few years ago.......

"A controversy erupted about spear fishing in the Placencia area, and whether or not it's legal in Belize. Purportedly, the government intended to make spear fishing with anything other than a Hawaiian sling illegal. However, somebody just never got around to finishing up the paperwork, so the only thing we know is illegal related to spear fishing is the taking of any marine product with a spear gun of any sort while scuba diving.

However, according to the Practical Guide to Good Practice: Managing Environmental Impacts in the Marine Recreation Sector, by The Center for Environmental Leadership in Business, a publication of the Coral Reef Alliance:

An overall decline in reef fish in coastal environments has been linked to spear fishing and over consumption of marine resources, and studies have shown that spear fishing can negatively impact populations of reef fish such as Nassau grouper (already endangered in Belize) and various types of parrotfish. According to critics, spear fishing is too effective as a method of harvesting certain types of reef fish. For example, because parrotfish rest within the reef at night, they are an easy target. Spear fishers also often target the largest fish on a reef, thus drastically reducing the reproductive capacity of particular species in an area.

Therefore, while it may not be "legally illegal" in Belize, we ask visitors to the area not to fish with anyone who is using a spear gun, and not to engage in this practice themselves."

From a "being polite angle", bloody fish attract sharks and it probably isn't a good idea around snorklers.

"Just another Day in Paradise"
#326058 - 03/02/09 10:54 AM Re: Spear fishing [Re: scubawalk]  
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 475
TravelinMan1 Offline
TravelinMan1  Offline
I would never have thought that spear fishing was more destructive than fishing with a rod and reel.

I certainly agree with Pam that if I am snorkeling and someone drives up and starts to spear fish I would not be happy. This is not a safe practice and spear fishing should be done away from other folks as it will also attract predators.

Please tell us who the real estate boat belongs to so that we can protest against them.

Pam we must stand up for the Snorkelers... Please tell us.

#326137 - 03/02/09 03:12 PM Re: Spear fishing [Re: TravelinMan1]  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,818
JZB Offline
JZB  Offline
TravelinMan1, I think you should leave the 'pot stirring' up to Pedro1.

#326164 - 03/02/09 04:43 PM Re: Spear fishing [Re: JZB]  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 1,094
Danny2 Offline
Danny2  Offline

Pedro1 doesn't stir pots, he bakes pizza.

#326171 - 03/02/09 05:10 PM Re: Spear fishing [Re: Danny2]  
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 11,010
klcman Offline
klcman  Offline
No he doesn't, Walter does.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _________________ _ _ _ _ _ _
But then what do I know, I am but a mere caveman
#326189 - 03/02/09 06:52 PM Re: Spear fishing [Re: klcman]  
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 84
Stilromin Offline
Stilromin  Offline
Ms Killen,

I was one of the spearfishing group that you observed. I am sorry to frighten you, as I am a reasonable and sane waterman who has chosen to live on the reef in Belize.
I seem to remember that you were having difficulty in mooring, due to the shift in current and wind. It did take some skill to protect the area and our boats in this condition,
I am curious, if you observed me entering the water, what frightened you??? Was it my methodical approach to safety?? Or perhaps the way that we deployed in teams to snorkel in a perfect setting on a perfect day?? I am not understanding your very public statement.
I am a spearfisherman,waterman, and very resolute in the efficiency of the elegance of the sport. My personal belief is that to spearfish is MUCH less destructive than rods and reels.Constantly on the reef, I stop and clear monofilament with a dead fish and hook on the end of it. Annoying...yes,illegal? no.
My theory is,one breath,one dive. I recognize that I become part of the food chain as I participate in this simple way of living.
Ban all taking of seafood...not the method that is compatible with the ecosystem.
I invite you to join me in the ocean any day at any time. If you leave the experience with any fear about MY PARTICULAR approach to existing in harmony with the natural cycle of the reef, I will discontinue spearfishing for the rest of my life.
Ignorance of another style of being is prevalent, but distasteful in any society.Join me one day as I watch my fishing friends clean 50 to 100 snapper, then give away barracuda because they don't want to clean them, take lobster out of season because their clients need to have a lobster lunch on a back beach. Then come out and spearfish, take one fish, clean it pray over it before dinner and thank the ocean for the gift,if you leave this experience without understanding, I will discontinue spearfishing for the rest of my life.
Please join me at Tres Cocos and swim through the conch graveyards, where hundreds of undersized conch shells are left in piles on the reef, harvested by commercial hunters with serious disregard for the laws and environmental policy of Belize.
I spearfish every day, take only what is legal, eat what I take, and thankfully appreciate the time in the ocean and on this earth. Please give me the opportunity to help you more completely understand this process that is germain to my existence here in Belize.

Respectful kind regards,
Jack Burnett
Great Escape

#326206 - 03/02/09 09:38 PM Re: Spear fishing [Re: Stilromin]  
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 842
pamkillen Offline
pamkillen  Offline
I really do not want to get in to this controversy. I asked the question because this seemed to be a forum filled with fisherman and I wanted to know the rules and accepted mores of spear fishing. Now I know, I think. It is not illegal to spear fish on the reef. Some people find it acceptable and/or preferable. Some don't. I am not comfortable swimming around it so I left. I also chose to tie up to the mooring and not drop an anchor. I guess different people have different behaviors that they accept for swimming by the reef

#326218 - 03/03/09 02:33 AM Re: Spear fishing [Re: pamkillen]  
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 84
Stilromin Offline
Stilromin  Offline
Hello Travellin Man1,

My name is Jack Burnett. I was on a boat named by Pam Killen as frightening to her sensibilities. You stated that you would like to protest against the boat that frightened her.
Can I buy you a cup of coffee to discuss this issue?? Just let me know when it is convenient and I will meet you to discuss this.

Kindest Regards,

Jack Burnett
_________________________ A traveler's destination in the fishing town of San Pedro. House and studios

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