The history of spearfishing cut across the following decades:
Spearfishing has quite a history behind it. We can trace the earliest stages of the sport to the late 19th century, but it began as a real sport in the early 20th. However, things didn’t start picking up until later in the early parts of the century, especially in the 1940s.
By the 1950s, spearfishing had become a competitive sport. There was growing interest from all works of life – sports brands, businesses, the media, and surprisingly, the government. Competitions became the order of the day.
The 1960s in Spearfishing history pretty much marked even bigger and more profound competitions, including the first interstate competition. Before now, spearfishing was much more common in some parts of the country. Competitions, events, and other activities were concentrated in a part of the country, or it seemed so. However, the 1964 Wollongong Carnival changed all of that as we started seeing major moves of spearfishing sporting activity to other parts of the country.
By the 1970s, the spearfishing space was no longer the fast-growing, still young thing known to be just a few decades earlier. It was now established. The common themes going forward were government and regulatory control.
Several clubs participate in the Australian spearfishing space. Most of these clubs are key members of the USFA as well.
Spearfishing involves hunting below the water using diving equipment. It is known as spearfishing because diving hunters catch fish by spearing them. It involves the use of a snorkel and an air tank. A snorkel identifies your target while the air tank prevents breathing in the water. Spearfishing is one of the most discouraging water activities because of the dangers involved. It has been described as a risky sport but one that offers unrivalled thrills and excitement. Hence, while we promote spearfishing activities, we also ensure the safety of divers.
The modern form of the spearfishing sport commenced in the early parts of the last century. Spearfishing commenced in 1917. The early spearfishermen made use of antiquated, inadequate equipment. They braved the elements to engage in the sport.
Over the years, the sport has developed rapidly. The Underwater Spearfishing Association of the NSW was founded in the year 1948. The association was formed by the coming together of a small group of divers dedicated to the sport—the meeting in Sydney at the Long Reef.
Most of our membership is made up of people from the New South Wales State. However, we do have members from across the entire country.
To ensure effectiveness, we also work with other organisations like outdoor organisations and peak fishing organisations. By working with them, we can pull some serious weight as we deliberate with the government.