By Sheri Daye
Under The Sea
Are you goal driven? Trying to think of new things to add to your bucket list? Interested in being a world record holder? A spearfishing world record may be a fun and attainable pursuit for you.
The International Underwater Spearfishing Association (IUSA) keeps track of spearfishing world records. Past and current records can be seen on www.iusarecords.com. IUSA was founded in 1950 by divers from California who wanted to standardize rules for world record fish.
The basic rules have stayed the same, although some minor tweaks have been made to accommodate changing times. Basically, the fish must be taken while freediving (breath holding) and with the use of a muscle-powered speargun. The catch must be legal and unassisted by anyone else. It must be weighed on a certified scale and measured while witnesses are present.
Over time, many categories have been added. The current ones are: men and women, saltwater and freshwater, speargun or sling/polespear. For example, a man can have a yellowfin tuna taken by polespear in the ocean; in fact, there was a recent first-time submission for this category! A woman can submit a record walleye taken by a speargun in a lake, and so forth.
If this piques your interest, here’s what you need to know:
1. Divers must be freediving—no artificial breathing devices are allowed.
2. Fish must be free-swimming, unrestricted by nets, traps or other devices.
3. Pursuit of the quarry by means of boat is not allowed.
4. Fish mutilated by anything other than the spearfishing equipment of the applicant are not allowed.
5. The use of artificial light sources for night spearfishing is not allowed.
6. Due to the potentially dangerous aspect of using chum or attraction devices, the IUSA does not encourage the practice, however, it is allowed.
7. The catch must follow all laws and regulations governing the species or the waters in which the fish was caught and not require a special permit that few can get.
8. Another diver may provide a second or additional unloaded gun to the spearfisher, provided they do not assist the diver in any way to subdue their catch. (Tip: if you are going after a record, let your buddies known in advance so they don’t unwittingly assist and disqualify your catch.)
9. The fish must be weighed on a certified scale and length and girth measurements must be provided. (Tip: keep a certified scale and tape measure in your dive bag. You never know when that special catch will take place. Take photos of the length, girth and weight, as these must be uploaded on the website application form.)
With a bit of persistence and some luck, you may be able to immortalize that special catch by claiming a world record of your own. Above all, be safe and have fun!
Sheri is a world-record holder, host of Speargun Hunter, and producer of “The Blue Wild Ocean Adventure Expo” in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Follow “Sheri Daye” and “The Blue Wild” on Facebook and Instagram.