[Coral-List] Thoughts on Spearfishing on Scuba

Nicole Crane nicrane at cabrillo.edu
Mon Apr 28 11:55:05 EDT 2014

Hi Eric,

I know many spearfisherpeople, both free divers and scuba divers, who 
are careful, knowledgeable, and skilled.  I also know some who are 
reckless and not careful, and who do not have a good knowledge base from 
which to draw from (at least not about the fish they are targeting).  
The most important thing for all hunters, I believe, is to understand 
the fish you hunt, the impact of the hunting activity, and how to 
minimize the impact in oceans that are under threat from multiple factors.

Fact: there are many fish that come to the nearshore to lay eggs in 
nests.  For some of these fish, the nests are guarded by males (such as 
the temperate west coast cabezon and ling cod).

Fact: These males will guard those nests, and are very easy to spear.  
This is in fact the worst time to spear them as you are essentially 
killing them and all the eggs in the nest they are guarding.  For 
Cabezon, this can represent the reproductive effort of several females 
(multiple females will lay in one nest).

Fact: scuba divers have an edge over free divers here because they can 
just swim until they find the fish, and easily spear them.

Free divers tend to give the fish more of a chance, since the free diver 
has to rely on more skill to hunt and then spear the fish.

On 4/28/14, 7:42 AM, Eric Douglas wrote:
> I write the Ask an Expert column for Scuba Diving magazine and I am looking to quote one or two people who are opposed to spearfishing on scuba. I would like to hear from anyone with a fact-based opinion.
> Thank you.
> Eric

Nicole L. Crane
Cabrillo College
Division of Natural and Applied Sciences
nicrane at cabrillo.edu

Oceanic Society
Senior Conservation Scientist

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