Freedive spearfishing is the most sustainable way to harvest dinner from the sea. There is no by-catch.
The challenge of holding your breath and swimming down to a great depth for a chance at a fish is a risk not many are willing to take. Many people fear sharks. Most spearos have a healthy respect and relationship with sharks.
The ability to traverse the unknown and the challenges that we encounter are, in fact, what drives us. It’s not all about who can shoot the largest fish or who can go the deepest. Most of the people in the spearing community are actually more conservative than rod and reel fishermen. One of the reasons for this is that we enter the environment on a personal level. We see the species surrounding the rocks and wrecks we explore. We can decide if there is enough of a species at a location by a visual confirmation. Before pulling the trigger, we can determine if it’s a smart move to harvest a fish. We can selectively harvest so that it won’t have an adverse impact on the population of a particular species at specific location. This is something you cannot do topside in a boat. You might have hooked the last big breeding black grouper at your honey hole without realizing it. Spearos strive to avoid that crucial mistake. As freedivers, we are aware of the importance of management because we see it first-hand every day.
Selective Freedive Spearfishing
There is a perception that spearos have an underwater machine gun and we are just mowing down every fish in our path. That is not the case. We train our eyes and our minds to know what species is what and what size they need to be to be harvested before pulling the trigger. We are very selective. We have only the breath in our lungs to make the decision to shoot or not. This mental ticking timer telling us to breathe makes us really focus on each dive and each shot to make sure it is the right decision.
I hope to change the bad publicity associated with spearfishing as a whole. I want to help raise awareness of the importance of conservation one dive at a time. Remember to never go freedive spearfishing alone and never take more then you need.
By Sean Hascup
Photo by J. Ferrara
Sean Hascup owns Hascup Hunts International. Conact him at HascupHunts@gmail.com.