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EstebanTore

POTW contest Rules violation

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It’s hard for me to understand all your words and write in English, but I will try with the help of google traduction web :rolleyes: …

I will talk about Spanish Mediterranean sea and canaries part of atlantic ocean that is what I know.

However I think the situation is the same at least for all the med sea.

Every one knows that the big problem is the industrial fishing and the drag methods of fishing.

It’s the first way to fight, but you can’t excuse in it to say spearfishing is not doing any damage in the fish population, its much more than you think.

I wonder where did Mr Wishbone get those Knowledge of fishing industry…

Your maths are not very well, first of all because these kilos you are talking about are from very different species of fish.

It has not the same environmental impact to take one ton of sardines in a legal fishing ground in the North that spear one female grouper in reproductive cicle and in a protected area of the med. There is no doubt that Mediterranean sea is over exploted, so why do you have to do more damage to it?

 

I want to answer some things that you said:

thank Mr. Tore for providing me with a goal for the future - to present the true nature of spearfishing in my photographs.

You say the TRUE nature of spearfishing. I hope it will be in general terms not only the true you want to see.

 

We went to a place without any chance of actual spearfishing - sandy bottoms with posidonia fields starting at depth of 15+ meters

Any chance in sandy 15m bottoms of posidonia?

Posidonia fields are where fish spawns and many predators goes hunting.

When you beging spearfishg (15 years ago) bottoms of posidonia whas full of fish.

 

The only thing speared was one rather old beer can we found. We took it with us when we left, so the dive actually had a positive environmental impact

I will nominated you for the oscar of positive environmental impact.

Can we see all your photos first?

 

I'm a 2nd generation spearo and I've been practicing it for some 15 years already

If that is true you have to be blind if you don’t see the difference between 15 years ago and now.

Ask your first generation of spereo how was the med before, where are the black groupers now?

 

He is obviously lacking most basic knowledge about this activity

I dive for some 15 years like you and I’ve seen lots of spereos.

Now I’m diving 2/3 times a week and I always see 2/3 spearos in each dive.

90% with illegal species, not respecting sizes, reproductive cicles and protected areas.

10% with legal captures and fishing in non protected areas.

That’s what I see every day, and is not what I think spearfishing is or should be.

 

To say that spearos in the Med catch everything they see is yet another slogan. Spearos in the Med, take edible fish.

Ok sorry for my words, they take all the edible fish they see, not matter if it’s protected or not.

 

The problem is that there is nothing to fish because there is no more groupers and big fish so they has to fish any thing.

The months you can see more spearfisher here is in summer, when all the species are reproducing.

They don’t care if the fish are in reproductive cycles. They don’t care if they take a female or an octopus with spawns.

They don’t care if they have to go to a protected area the only that matter is to go home with a Trophy.

 

I’m not a vegan. I eat more fruit and vegetables but I also eat meat and fish.

In spain 70% of fish in the market is from fish farms so I can easily find farm fish.

You can see the fishing method of what you buy.

Yes I kill indirectly fish to eat but I’m not contributing of sea harvesting.

However is not logic to think that only vegans can be against spearfishing.

I eat meat but I’m totally against bull fights. Why? Because it’s a downgrade way to kill animals and we do for our own joy not to survive or to take meat to the table.

Spear fishing in a 90% is a sport, they kill for joy, not a way to take fish to the table.

If Mr.Wishbone is in the 10% I congratulate him, but I think this is not the reality of spearfishing, at least here in Spain

To think that what I'm doing is good because there are others who do worst than me is not a good thinking.

Please open your minds and think that Now its time to react and change our way of interaction with the nature.

No more excuses like the others make more harm than me, every drop counts.

I’m not an ecologist or naturalist I’m only an underwater photographer who wants one day in the future to go diving with my grandson and show him all the beauties of the sea, not only sand and rocks.

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Dear Esteban... I am glad we're back on the constructive side now that the voting is over!

 

As I said - I don't expect to change your views. It's your right not to accept spearfishing and I don't question that at all... If I reply, it's cause of the others that might not know much about spearfishing.

 

I wonder where did Mr Wishbone get those Knowledge of fishing industry…

About the statistics, the source is the Food and agriculture organisation of the United Nations: ftp://ftp.fao.org/fi/stat/summary/a2.pdf

About the other numbers - they're coming from equipment producers... As I said - these particular numbers are not that important. Even if you double the number of spearos in Spain their annual catch would hardly top 1% of the total reported industrial catch.

 

...you can’t excuse in it to say spearfishing is not doing any damage in the fish population, its much more than you think.

I never said that... If you catch one fish you're damaging the stocks by one fish. But I believe that the ~0.5% spearfishing catch is way within nature's own reproductive abilities. Besides, every spearo knows that the fish have already developed the skills to identify the underwater hunter as a predator.

 

Your maths are not very well, first of all because these kilos you are talking about are from very different species of fish. It has not the same environmental impact to take one ton of sardines in a legal fishing ground in the North that spear one female grouper in reproductive cicle and in a protected area of the med.

I have to disagree with you. The diversification of the catch is actually a good thing since you do not overfish a particular species. That's another recommendation all newbies get when they start spearfishing nowadays. Spearing female grouper during the reproduction cycle in a protected area is once again poaching, sorry but I am cannot accept this example as a rule...

 

Any chance in sandy 15m bottoms of posidonia? Posidonia fields are where fish spawns and many predators goes hunting. When you beging spearfishg (15 years ago) bottoms of posidonia whas full of fish.

 

There still are fish in the posidonia fields... But not when the water is close to 30C though. And I believe you're wrong about the spawning taking place only in the summer - it depends on the species and you can check out fishbase's spawning data. As a spearo I can assure you that the summer is actually the worst time of the year for spearfishing in the Med since all the fish is very deep.

I believe Greece has a fishing ban in June though. I believe that's a working solution... Why don't you do it the same in Spain?

 

I will nominated you for the oscar of positive environmental impact.

Can we see all your photos first?

 

Can't attach all of them. One is enough. Despite the fact that I find your remark disparaging - where's my Oscar?

 

post-14289-1196280876_thumb.jpg

 

I am not blind, Esteban and I can definitely see the difference between 15 years ago and now. However, unlike you, I blame the overfishing and pollution for that - not spearfishing. And as I said, I do not deny that spearfishing took part in the reduction of the dusky grouper's population. The grouper is a highly prized table fish. And as such it was the prime target for every fisherman - industrial, anglers, scuba or freediving ones. As I already mentioned it was the reason for the conflict between scuba and freediving spearos. After some legislative measures were taken, the main problem remained the scuba and freediving poachers. Mainly scuba diving ones. You don't know probably how the Italian scuba divers were devastating the groupers in Greece using chemicals to make them come out of their hole. I do... And I dislike that very much. Later that conflict deepened and now is simply a conflict between spearos and scuba divers. It was the lack of effective control both on poaching and illegal sale that caused it.

I believe some Med countries like France have a total ban on grouper fishing. Any grouper fishing that is!

Other countries (like Spain and Greece) are still allowing a very restricted catch on grouper. I don't mind that at all - after all the grouper is still in the Red List. And the results of the restrictions are obvious - the groupers are returning. Even I can see the youngsters in the shallows even though Greece still allows grouper fishing. In France they are thinking about lifting the ban and go to effective restrictions.

 

Still during those 15 years the thinking among the freediving spearos has changed drastically. I told you - go to any spearfishing forum and you will see it for yourself if you can't take my words for that

 

90% with illegal species, not respecting sizes, reproductive cicles and protected areas.

10% with legal captures and fishing in non protected areas.

They don’t care if the fish are in reproductive cycles. They don’t care if they take a female or an octopus with spawns.

They don’t care if they have to go to a protected area the only that matter is to go home with a Trophy.

 

First, I believe that these numbers are at least to say exaggerated. It's either that or the Spaniards have absolutely no respect to the law and the control is nonexistent there. That's very sad if it's true, even though I am absolutely sure it's not... I visit Spanish spearfishing forums and I communicate with Spanish spearos. They are just as environmentally conscious as anywhere else.

 

And you keep talking about illegal catch, undersized catch, hunting in protected areas. Esteban, that's not spearfishing, that's poaching! If you have a problem with poaching than obviously there's a problem with the enforcement of the law in Spain!

 

But lets assume that's all true, even your 90% bad/10% good guys ratio. What would be the result if your dream of total ban on spearfishing comes true? The 10% good guys would obey the ban just like they always obeyed all the restrictions. The remaining 90% bad guys would continue poaching! Without effective control there would be only a 10% improvement, so the answer is not there. Ten percent improvement only if some of the good guys don't get sick and tired of constant bans and turn bad - cause you should estimate such negative effect too.

 

 

The problem is that there is nothing to fish because there is no more groupers and big fish so they has to fish any thing.

 

Esteban, the grouper is down in the list of most prized fish for many years already. The top spot is for the dentex. To catch a dentex you have to be a very skilled freediver able to dive to depths of +20m. Then come the amberjacks, guilthead breams, bonitos and seabass. Sory but your info is a bit outdated.

And there are big fish - obviously you have to try freediving to see them. Mind you, the big animals In the wild are not tame to grab food from your hand like they are in the marine parks. Especially the groupers... :rolleyes:

 

 

In spain 70% of fish in the market is from fish farms so I can easily find farm fish.

Sorry, that's not true.... FAO statistics say that the Aquacultures production (farms production) in Spain is 221927 tonnes for 2004, the total capture as already mentioned is 848803 tonnes. That's a bit over 20%. You can check for yourself ftp://ftp.fao.org/fi/STAT/summary/a-0a.pdf

I just hope the given number of aquaculture production does not include tuna farming, since we all know that to 'farm' tuna you have to catch it first. I don't know if that's even reported as capture...

But that doesn't mean I am against fish farming. Not at all, even though the negative environmental impact of the farms is still to be researched.

 

Spear fishing in a 90% is a sport, they kill for joy, not a way to take fish to the table.

How did you come up with that number?

 

To think that what I'm doing is good because there are others who do worst than me is not a good thinking.

Please open your minds and think that Now its time to react and change our way of interaction with the nature. No more excuses like the others make more harm than me, every drop counts.

I’m not an ecologist or naturalist I’m only an underwater photographer who wants one day in the future to go diving with my grandson and show him all the beauties of the sea, not only sand and rocks.

 

Well... I believe we're back on the propaganda slogans so I better end my post.

But you have to be sure that if all fish production actually comes from farming, you'd be able to show your grandkid 99 and a half out of every 100 fish even if you allow us spearfishers do what we do now...

 

Cheers!

Edited by Wishbone

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It may be parochial, but in England spearfishing has a very negative image. Hunting in England, a small and crowded country, is a very divisive issue (we have hunt saboteurs!). This passionate division makes any discussion of underwater hunting a very unpleasant event.

 

I would not encourage underwater hunting:

 

In rich countries spearfishing is a hobby, and not a necessity: there is plenty of protein on the table.

 

It's important to hear from both sides of the argument, but there is a big ecological problem as most hunted species are "top predators": the sustainable yields are vanishingly small, and any hunting pressure may be too much.

 

Fishing, let alone spearfishing, may be a luxury that the world cannot afford.

 

I have no objection to the image that started off this thread, but I do think that some of the discussion has been dangerously naive about the impact that all kinds of fishing has on the marine environment.

 

Tim

 

B)

 

PS Once I studied ecology, but I'm all right now.

 

PPS "Feeding Ecology and Optimal Foraging Strategy in the Nilgai, Boselephas tragocamelus", if you really want to know...

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Dear Tim,

 

I've heard about the problems in England even though I haven't hed too many chances to meet English spearos. However one of the issues I've encountered being discussed is the lack of proper reglamentation in the country.

What I know about England is:

Spearfishing licence : not needed

Regulations for foreigners: not needed

Protected species: I don't know if there are any. My info is - none.

Bag and size limits: Self-imposed sizing by British Spearfishing Association (www.underwaterfishing.co.uk)

Restricted areas: As per Angling rules.

I assume some of that 2nd hand info might not be true...

 

I do not assume that spearfishing should be allowed at all costs... If we have reached the point of no return the measures should be wide an drastic - I think I said that already. But without restricting commercial fishing and overfishing, any ban on recreational activity performed by small group of people with rather small impact on the actual stocks is pure hypocrisy. I truly believe that the actual positive impact of a spearfishing ban will be insignificant...

 

Croatians have found a real good, and from what I hear - a working solution! What they did is impose normal restrictions, bag limits, etc. But on tops they also introduced a quite expensive spearfishing weekly license. And by law the income from those is allocated to ecological activities and to the budget of the fisheries and control bodies. As far as I know, it's legally established how much of the income would be used for ecological activities - including breeding and releasing fish in the wild. I haven't met even one spearo to oppose that - they know that every Euro they give goes for ecology and control. But there was actually a murmur about the government not performing its duties right.

So there are positive solutions I believe. If done right that is...

 

I know there are similar discussions about that in other countries. However most of the proposals end up by simply throwing the license incomes in the national/budgets - and those are bottomless pits... And of course the spearos don't support that - they'd be happy to see the money being actually used for breeding and introduction and other ecological activities.

 

Safe dives!

 

Ivan

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I agree, this isn't fish harrassment. People spear fish to feed themeslves. It's not any worse then fishing with a fishing pole with the intetion of eating your catch. There is no reason to call spear fishermen fish killers.

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Esteban

While I admire your gusto to preserve the biodiversity of reefs, I think it's hard to align that picture with an infarction of rules. There is no speared dead fish on the head and really, like it or not, there are many magazines which cover spearfishing as a sport. Hence there is a market for pictures of spearos. Wetpixel cannot ban a picture because the subject seems to be doing an activity that is possibly harassing. There are much worse photographs of obvious manipulation that have won international competitions who have stricter guidelines. Yet those organizers don't seem to care. WP is pretty vigilante about these things.

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It's true that if you apply the rules strictly you can't say the photo breaks them.

In this case, I propose to amend the rules so this kind of case will not be repeated in the future.

I understand that a picture of a hunter may not be in the same place that a picture of nature.

They are different things that have to be in different places. Like is not mixed in the same Web hiking and trophy hunting.

As much as I tried I still have not found a single photo nature web where you can see photos of a hunter.

This photo may create a precedent and that may cause more photos from spearfishing published in wetpixel. For example on the subject of next week (camouflage) I don't think it wil be a good idea publish photos of spereos camouflaged waiting to take his piece.

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We've had this in many of the States here in the U.S. as well, with even landlocked States like Tennessee, Idaho, Pennsylvania and Wyoming using revenues from angling and hunting licenses for things like trout hatcheries and game conservation, going for many decades. Among other things, Duck Stamps are used to fund conservation activities on the Federal level, in addition to State activities.

 

[Though I'd wager that the hunter on his bicycle in the photo above was hauling home some fresh road-kill, since I didn't see the gun rack over his bike's rear tire! :P ]

 

Charlie Matco

NYC

 

Croatians have found a real good, and from what I hear - a working solution! What they did is impose normal restrictions, bag limits, etc. But on tops they also introduced a quite expensive spearfishing weekly license. And by law the income from those is allocated to ecological activities and to the budget of the fisheries and control bodies. As far as I know, it's legally established how much of the income would be used for ecological activities - including breeding and releasing fish in the wild. I haven't met even one spearo to oppose that - they know that every Euro they give goes for ecology and control. But there was actually a murmur about the government not performing its duties right.

So there are positive solutions I believe. If done right that is...

 

I know there are similar discussions about that in other countries. However most of the proposals end up by simply throwing the license incomes in the national/budgets - and those are bottomless pits... And of course the spearos don't support that - they'd be happy to see the money being actually used for breeding and introduction and other ecological activities.

Safe dives!

 

Ivan

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I think Ivan is on the right track: I'm a big fan of farm-raised catfish (PoFolks, anyone?), where concern over eating bottom-feeding catfish from not-so-clean waters spurred on the catfish farming industry in the South back in the early 80's.

 

Here in most of the United States, spearfishing isn't all that popular compared to angling, partially because most of our coastal waters are on the chilly side. For example, on the Left Coast, San Francisco Bay is rarely over 60F (~15C), so fishermen line up on the wharves, rather than go underwater.

 

Another reason is that most of our waters are fresh, silty water, not clean, silt-free seas like off the Florida Keys or in the Carribbean, i.e. you have to see where you're aiming at: You wouldn't go out with your 12 gauge/30-06 over-under in a pea-soup fog, either.

 

Now, on to the Redneck sport of dynamite fishing! stripdynamite.jpg

 

How I took the photo? Why the gun was charged? The truth is quite simple. I got me a new camera and my buddy wanted to test my gun cause his old one (depicted on the photo) started to fail. We went to a place without any chance of actual spearfishing - sandy bottoms with posidonia fields starting at depth of 15+ meters. For the "photo session" my buddy made few repeated dives to -28m and then we went to more shallow waters. The only thing speared was one rather old beer can we found. We took it with us when we left, so the dive actually had a positive environmental impact... :)

 

Now Mr. Tore is right to call me a fish killer and since my photos caused you 45+ posts I better introduce myself. I'm a 2nd generation spearo and I've been practicing it for some 15 years already. The first lesson my dad taught me, despite "Try not to drown, will ya? Your mom wouldn't like that!" was to not take more fish than I need for my table. It happened back in the 80s and that's still the basic law for every freediving spearo... I never managed to become a top spearo - in 2002 I had a pneumothorax and I was banned from diving. I was hopping from one doctor to another for few years until I found one to allow me to freedive again, preconditioned that I don't go deeper than 5-6m. So now I am back in the water. And since at max depths of 8m (yeah, I cheated the good doc a bit) you can't do much spearfishing I found a new passion - underwater photography. I take all my photos on freediving and I still do spearfish occasionally, always obeying the fish/table ratio.

:

:

It's a fact that I have chosen not to buy fish for my family. I believe spearfishing is the most environmentally friendly way to provide fish to my table. And I don't believe a person in his right mind would deprive his children from eating fish. By not buying fish I am in fact boycotting the commercial fishing industry. It's the real the enemy of every spearo...

The majority of the spearos are actually every environmentally conscious and you would hardly find people more passionate about the protection of fish. Why's that? Simple - if there's no fish there won't be spearfishing.

I believe it's was the WWF's oceans protection campain slogan "Stop overfishing, or fishing would be over!". So that's why you don't have to question the feelings of the spearos about protecting the environment.

 

Safe dives everyone!

Ivan

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I have seen many pics of South African origin, that include nearly always a person in the back ground with a spear gun; some loaded, some not. I have never read any negative comments on the perceived harrassment of any wild life in these pictures. I refer of course to the growing popularity of swimming with great whites outside the cages.

Forgive me if I am wrong, but the origional image, subject to discussion, has no wildlife present and as such is left to interpretation. I personally believe that it is a well executed image and should be seen as what it is and NOT used by some 'grand standing' individual for his/her personal campaign!

IMHO.

Bruce

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i would say that the average underwater photographer harrasses fish every time he takes a photograph, especially macro with strobes.

or am i just being silly !!!!

 

mines a thermadore...yum yum

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I'd say you're just being silly, Stew. Compared to the constant threat of being eaten, what photographers do to critters underwater isn't harrassment. Most of them know would disappear in a hurry if it were.

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I think that there is a basic misunderstanding that is occuring here. And that is the question as to whether hunting (of all kinds) and conservation can go hand in hand.

 

Personally I believe that it can. In North America, hunting organizations and subsequently, the money from hunting groups, are responsible for a large percentage of the wildlife and habitat conservation. If you want further proof of this, National Geographic magazine had an article in the November 2007 issue titled "Conserving Hunters", or take a look at Ducks Unlimited: a website that is titled, "Wetlands, Conservation, Waterfowl, Duck Hunting - World Leader in Wetlands Conservation". I believe that most hunters deeply care for the animals that they are hunting and care for the continued survival of that species. Hunters see the beauty of the environment and want to protect it.

 

However, it is very easy for people that only get their food from a grocery store to bash hunting as being cruel and destructive when they don't have to see how their food was collected/slaughtered/caught/etc. We photographers have taken the next step from hunting and choose instead to shoot with our cameras rather than with spearguns/rifles/etc. But that same instinct still connects us with our "prey". I think the best photos are the ones that project that connection to the viewer.

 

But all of this is just my opinion.

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I absolutely agree with you Mark.

 

I hunt with rifle and speargun and consequently I and others like me exhibit a fierce proprietorial pride and husbandry in the land, water and its wildlife. Few of us kill for the sake of it and take only that which may be readily consumed. For sure, if I relied on my speargun to feed my family we would be very hungry folk.

 

My rifle and speargun take me into the fields and water when otherwise, I would be asleep in front of the fire. The contraints of hunting (not dissimilar to those of photography) put me in tune with my (potential) prey.

 

Frequently I choose not to take the shot, becuase I enjoyed the 'stalk' more so. In fact, it is true to say that I often have a great day hunting, having never taken a shot.

 

I believe I echo the beliefs of many true hunters...

Edited by Timmoranuk

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Hi Guys,

I think that at this stage, this thread should be left alone without diverting to the "hunting vs non-hunting" argument. That subject has nothing to do with underwater photography and shouldn't be hashed out in this forum...IMHO

 

Bruce

Edited by bruceterrill

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We I must admit ... I wish it was my photo that got this much fuss and attention. Great photo .. great sport ...

I Scuba, Freedive and Spearfish... and love the ocean and all it has to offer.

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