Posted By: ScubaLdy
Spear fishing - 10/13/02 12:40 AM
To add a sad note: Recently there has been a surge of spear fishing around the docks. Hustler's dock used to have a lot of good sea life. Boo Hoo - gone!
As the fish population is being depleted evidently it is harder to catch the big ones with hook and line. The fish, especially groupers, are so used to divers that they have no fear. It seems almost criminal to swim up to them, all but look them in the eye, and then shoot them.
I could not bring myself to eat fish on this last trip.
Posted By: Anonymous
Re: Spear fishing - 10/13/02 01:25 AM
scuba lady.... what part ah yu ....is accepabe to kiss pon yu.....
mek ah plant wahn big cheek suckin kiss pon yu fi di fish ....
fram dem fram mi fi "yu"
now if town board wud present a proposal... and pass a by-law..to prohibit dock fishin to single hook ........
hmmmmmmm cud appin
Posted By: bywarren
Re: Spear fishing - 10/13/02 04:47 PM
Condeming the pratice of spear fishing shows a lack of understanding of the larger problem. Belize is fortunate to have a marine eco-system that has provided fish and other seafood for generations. This resource is a renewable resource that,if mangage properly, can continue to provide it's resources. Spearfishing is one, and probably the best, method of harvesting this resource. It is far less damaging than gill netting and even hook and line fishing in that it harvest only the fish speared. All other methods, gill netting, long line, fish traps, hook and line and the worst, shrimping, kill other forms of marine life that are not utilized.
The root of the problem goes to the increased demand for seafood and the destruction of the marine environment caused by overdemand and increased population.
If you look at the larger picture and really want to protect this environment for the future, you need to address the problems of demand and habitat distruction caused by none other than you and me. That being the tourists and those of us coming here creating the demand for seafood and wanting beaches and condos built on land formed by dredging and creating a population density that strains the environment.
The Sea has provided for the people of Belize for generations. Why is it now that this has become a problem? What has changed?
If we take a look at the bigger picture, I think it is naive and simplistic to blame spearfishing.
Let's hope for your and my sake Scubaldy, the people of Belize don't figure out that another, and maybe more effective, solution would be to put a limit on the number of divers they let into the country to look at and eat their fish. And to stop the building on every square inch of sand and puting 700 lots on a 2 mile long pristine caye to provide the condos and homes we demand.
Once they decide the short term gain from tourists dollars must be weighed against the long term damage to the marine environment, effective solutions will be found. Those solutions won't be as simple as condeming spear fishing.
Posted By: ScubaLdy
Re: Spear fishing - 10/13/02 06:04 PM
Believe it or not, we do not disagree. The point I was making is that the spear fishing is taking place around the docks where the fish have been almost domesticated.
Posted By: bywarren
Re: Spear fishing - 10/13/02 08:30 PM
There is lots of talk about creating more marine reserves thus limiting where the fishermen can fish and even talk of a moratorium on grouper fishing. This all needs to be taken into consideration in attempting to find solutions. I just wish there was as much talk about limiting the dredging and creating some "reserves" where condos couldn't be built as there is about stoping the locals from catching some fish to eat.
I respectfully say that we do not agree, Scubaldy. I think the development on Long Caye that you are particpating in is an excellent example of what is a much greater threat to Belize and its future than a San Pedrano spearing a fish in front of his island. You can go to Hol
Chan and see all the fish you want. I hope a generation from now the Belize people will be able to catch and eat as much fish as they want. If not, I guess you and I can always invite them over for a hamburger or steak dinner.
Posted By: Sandshaker
Re: Spear fishing - 10/13/02 10:18 PM
The residents of San Pedro have been catching fish off of docks for many, many years. I don't think anybody can tell them not to do it now regardless of the method. Food is food and if they want it they will catch with whatever means is easiest. I wouldn't let it spoil your appetite for fish though Harriette. Chances are the fish on your plate isn't the same fish that was caught off the dock.
Frankly I'd be more concerned that kids would be using these spear guns and accidentally injure themselves or others. The fish population will survive...the kid may not.
Just my 2 cents worth
Posted By: susangg
Re: Spear fishing - 10/14/02 05:58 AM
For what its worth, our family was last in San Pedro in June/July and the area in front of and under Hustler's dock (which is right next door to the Paradise Villas dock) was as teeming with all kinds of sea life as ever. It would be surprising if this had changed in only 4 months. The fish down there come and go, sometimes there are more fish than others, sometimes the eels are there and sometimes they aren't.
I have yet to see anyone spear fishing off the Hustler dock (or our dock, for that matter.) If it happens, it is undoubtedly an occasional thing. There are always a few folks snorkeling down there. I too would be more concerned about spearing a snorkeler than wiping out the fish population around the dock.
I agree that spear fishing is the least environmentally destructive method of fishing.
I think spear fishing is a non issue. There are a lot of real environmental issues to worry about in Belize, spear fishing would certainly not be on my list of priority concerns.
well the fish do not know enough to run scared but i sure do. i do not hesitate to take a swim on the beach near any of the docks. for the most part it is just myself and lots of local children having the fun because people don't care to swim in the grass etc. hope no one gets injured.