Spear fishing ( in English spearfishing or even underwater hunting ) denotes the underwater hunt for fish and crabs.
In German-speaking spear fishing is fishing legally prohibited. In many countries of the world, however, spear fishing is a traditional part of commercial fishing. It is highly resource-efficient compared to all other types of fishing. There is no unwanted by-catch and there is no damage caused by nets, lines, etc.
However, this way of hunting is not just for a living, but is as a recreational and competitive sport in many countries ( Mediterranean, South America, United Kingdom) very popular. In some areas it excels especially in the summer even the popularity of football. The spear fishing dive without air as an apnea diver into the deep and trying to catch only with the help of a mechanical harpoon fish. The diver needs for this excellent condition and sensitive hunting instinct. To catch a larger, more experienced fish, he must often for minutes on the ocean floor or hide behind stones.
Another form is the open water hunting. Here, the fishermen often swim hundreds of meters to a buoy or a canoe on the open sea. With a long cord they connect with their float and dive into the depths. In the flow impulsive they wait until " the fish " swimming them right in front of the harpoon. Are hunted so especially capital tuna, but also swordfish, mackerel and snapper.
After a successful hit the catcher must still be salvaged. For particularly large fish, the hunter often still faces tough and long fights. From ambition and hunting fever possessed, besides, many hunters lose again in control of their own abilities. This leads to many fatal accidents. In high season, for example, solely on Spain's coasts loses almost weekly a diver his life during spearfishing.
At the beginning of Sporttaucherei underwater hunting was operated with compressed air equipment. Especially in the Mediterranean some fish stocks were partially decimated in this way. The led on the part of that time neugründenden dive associations to numerous campaigns in which underwater hunting was basically vilified. This is due to the rejection of the historical spear fishing by many diving organizations.