"The ocean is our provider and has a very deep spiritual connection for our people." - Maori Fisherman.
Deepblue picked up on this theme in their article of how one should respect the ocean, not only when enjoying it, but also when one is our spearfishing to provide for the family.
- Respect protected species: Last week I was lucky to see a goliath grouper, also known as jewfish in a permitted fishing area. Goliath groupers are not protected in Colombia. It was a beautiful animal, at least one meter long, very rarely seen these days in here, good enough for a few weeks of fish, but I decided not to shoot, instead I looked at him, admired him and then scared him off so he could at least have a new chance. The jewfish is on a no catch list in the Caribbean and especially in Colombia, it also offers little merit as of the sport, or as my good friend and excellent fisherman Nicolas Valencia says, “it’s like hunting cows.” The list is longer, so learn and educate yourself before going out.
- Respect the minimum sizes: Read before jumping into the water. Learn about the permitted species and minimum sizes for each one.
- Do not you fish in protected areas: simple, respect the parks and natural sanctuaries for ocean wildlife so we can always enjoy it and it can always recover.
- No tanks: Simple, if you can’t dive then don’t dive, spearfishing has to be done while Freediving, means you are holding your breath, otherwise it’s illegal and absolutely non sustainable.
- Stop thinking in pounds: Specially with octopus and lobster, both in the no catch list for the Colombian Caribbean. Instead of thinking in 10 pounds of octopus or lobster (catching 20 animals, ½ pound each) think on 2 pieces, 5 pounds each.
- Observe: We have that power, a power that other fishermen do not, and in the wise words of Peter Parker’s uncle Ben: “With great power comes great responsibility.” I once saw 2 large groupers that were moving in a curious/funny way, the first thing I thought is that I was very lucky and engaged, then I saw again and understood that they were in a dance of mating and left the lovers alone. If you see a lobster make sure they don’t have eggs. Also observe that animals are not on red list
- Eat what you catch, catch what you eat: don’t just fish for a photo or to prove your manhood to your friends, catch only the fish you are willing to take home and eat. I’ve heard many cases of people fishing giants just for the photo and then they have no idea what to do or how to move the animal, so what happens? They rot because they were not prepared or leave them lying on the beach … it’s a shame! So think before you shoot or don’t shoot at all. At least give it to the locals, but never allow yourself the sin of wasting food, it is indeed a tragedy, there’s many people out there starving. There is no greater satisfaction than to bring fresh and healthy food home and sharing it with family and friends.
- Aim carefully: If there’s coral between your spear and your prey, or behind it then do not shoot, you’re going to break the coral and they grow an average of 1 cm per year, that’s very slow.
- Catch some lion fish (if you are in the atlantic ocean/caribbean sea): their meat is delicious, especially for ceviche and we all know the problem with them, design a sling or use a small gun just for them, take a good bag where you can put them without hurting yourself, their sting is painful but not fatal.
We full promote and support fishing with respect.
The Dive and Surf Shop Team