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.
Chesty Bond Championship
This was held in February 1951 and had the buy-in and support of President Dick Charles and the Australian government. The parent of Bond Athletics supported it, that is, Bond Industries.
The Life of Alic Alliman
The Alliman Shield is somewhat the USFA flagship Competition held every other month. The competition is held in memory of Alec Alliman. Alliman was an excellent Spearfishing pro and a sure rising star.
He won the NSW Championship in 1955. However, in 1956, he attended a USFA event on March 11th, 1956, in Malabar. While trying to scuba-dive, he had a heart attack and, unfortunately, did not survive it. He was 26 at the time.
Fishing Laws Relating to Spearfishing
By the end of the 1950s, spearfishing had gained a lot of ground that it was already attracting the attention of the government. When extant laws were made on fishing, spearfishing was properly addressed.
Many restrictions were introduced in the law that was promulgated on December 1st, 1959. The regulations were necessary to check the Spearfishers’ excesses, as spearfishing was causing some form of harm, especially environmental. The major aim of the regulations was to protect marine life.
Some key provisions of the law as regards spearfishing addressed the following issues:
The use of Spears in inland waters was prohibited. This means that spearfishing could be done in tidal and coastal waters such as rivers, seas, and oceans but not on inland marine.
Licenses and Permits
Although most of the regulation provisions seemed to regulate and restrict spearfishing, this one particular was different. Instead, it served as a means to boost spearfishing in Australia. The provision stated that persons do not necessarily need licenses to do spearfishing in the permitted water bodies.
Quantity in a Bag
When spearfishers harvest fish, they are bound by some regulations surrounding the quantity of fish they may take. If the fish were harvested from saltwater, no restrictions would apply except for some particular fish species. Such species include bass and gropers.
In bass, spearfishers can only take up to ten pieces of the fish for a single day. In the case of gropers, the limit is two fish for a particular day. However, generally, spearfishers are to be guided by the moral responsibility not to take more than is necessary at a time.
There are also regulations around the sale of fish that were harvested from spearfishing. The regulation clearly stated that spearfishers are only allowed to consume the fish they harvest and never sell them.
The regulation made provisions to protect growing and young fish. Thus it prohibited fishing for them. This also applied to undersized fish such as crayfish and oysters.
Spearfishing Gear Ban
The regulation went further to prohibit conducting spearfishing using dangerous objects and tools. Chief amongst those tools is a firearm. Then we also have explosives. Furthermore, spears that have lights attached to aid them are also not allowed.