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Bad apples: Disgraceful spearfishermen ruining it for the rest of us.

Published on: 24th November, 2015 | Diving News
Photo credit: Scubasquirrel
Unidentified men spear protected blind shark at popular NSW beach in behaviour putting species and the sport at risk.

 These photos were taken at Kurnell NSW and show two spearfishermen and their wobbygong "catch". In 2007 the NSW Department of Primary Industries introduced a zero recreational bag limit for wobbygong sharks and their population has since recovered significantly. 

For those not aware, the wobbygong is a blind bottom feeder.  They are a largish, non-threatening shark species, which basically sit there and allow you to come extremely close, before politely moving a few paces away.  My point is these are not a challenging species to hunt.
From the photo the shark is speared in the tail. Apparently having swum directly over the top of his stationary and indifferent target, and having all the time in the world before the wobbygong felt the need to move slightly, the culprit in the photo couldn't even manage a headshot.

I certainly don't want to demonise all spearfishers. The whole point of the sport is challenge in the hunt: taking only what you will eat, by hand, in an environment hostile to human life (it is difficult to inhale water).
What this person has achieved is the in-water equivalent of walking up to a cow in a paddock, shooting it in rear with a harpoon, then car dragging it back home for medals and scones. Congratulations.
Originally brought to our attention by Diveplanit and Scubasquirrel.


Ashton East

OC and CCR trimix, stage cave, underwater photographer; NSW, QLD and UK Legal Counsel.