Competitions History _

The Competitions History

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.

They immediately began to form diving competitions around the time, and several clubs were so formed along the coastline of the NSW. In the early days of the activity, scuba diving and spearfishing were regarded as the same sport and were carried out together just as it is done in New Caledonian and New Zealand today. 

When scuba use in spearfishing got banned, the fraternity of people who engaged in scuba and those who spearfished went their separate ways. The decision to split them remains the same till today.

The USFA has articles dating far back, which you can peruse on the USFA website to follow the history and development of the sport and the people who fell in love with it and began to engage in it over the years.

Popular spearfishers and some underwater movies in Australia began to sensationalise the killing of sharks and large groupers with powerheads and spearguns. This began to influence public opinion, giving the public the perception that spearfishing was about. 

Of course, this portrayal of senseless killing was not acceptable to the people who dedicated themselves to the sport. They raised concern over the idea that such horrifying killings could be portrayed to the public for publicity and financial gain was. We wrote and published several articles crying out against this portrayal at the time.

Our publications must have been effective because the act’s perpetrators realised that National Geographic did not appreciate the portrayal and act of the senseless killings of easy prey. They soon left the sport and focused on filming creatures underwater.

The people who chose to remain in the sport constantly have to struggle against that perception and the legacy left behind by those actions. We work hard to change that false narrative and show what spearfishing is all about and change people’s perception.

The governing bodies and their members are responsible for the protection of certain species. They also lobby the fisheries and the government to place bans on some species, barring them from being used in spearfishing competitions. Some of the species that have been protected include the Grey Nurse Sharks, Blue Groper, Blue Devil Fish, and so much more. 

The Spearfishing Information Day is celebrated on the 7th of September. The USFA celebrates its anniversary on the 19th of September. To participate in any USFA competition, you should familiarise yourself with the Competition’s rules, the minimum standards for competing, and the procedures to follow.