Bluewater spearfishing is the sport of hunting wild open ocean fish with a lung full of air and a spear gun. The books, Last of the Bluewater Hunters, Blue Water Hunting & Freediving; the video, Blue Water Hunters; the international magazines, Australian Spearfishing News and Apnea have introduced the sport to the world.
Once thought the sole realm of hi tech anglers, the wildest game fish of the oceans are now fair game for a new breed of free divers. Armed with the know ledge that it is indeed possible to hunt the open ocean and armed with new techniques and advanced gear, breath hold divers are hunting the blue in greater numbers - and getting results! In 1995, two potential record fish were speared. In Mexico, an American expatriate shot a blue marlin, well over 700 lb. Several months later, a Greek diver shot and landed a 760 lb. blue fin tuna. Since no international organization exists to judge and certify bluewater spearfishing records, the International Bluewater Spearfishing Records Committee was conceived to standardize rules and records and to memorialize past and future record holders.
Recognized leaders in bluewater hunting, members of the Long Beach Neptunes hold multiple world records. Their annual Catalina Bluewater Meet is the model for the Australian Bluewater Classic and the Greek Bluewater Meet. The nucleus for the Records Committee, members of the Neptunes met in late 1995 with represent atives of the Underwater Society of America, the Inter national Underwater Spearfishing Association and a member of the International Game Fishing Association to propose bluewater record rules. International Records Committee members were proposed and accepted. In December 1995, the IBSRC concept and proposed rules were presented to the Neptunes Executive Committee for official sponsorship. With this sponsorship IBSRC petitioned the Underwater Society of America for official committee status.
The first year of the Committee was exciting and very
busy. General concepts were distilled into bylaws for the
internal organization as well as rules and applications
for the certification of records. Applications for
Committee membership and applications for records were
processed. Proceedings and records were published in
international forums such as the Australian Spearfishing
News, Apnea and the Internet.
The IBSRC is established to promote ethical and sporting spearfishing practices; to establish uni- form regulations for the compilation of world blue water game fish records; and to provide basic spear fishing guidelines for use in bluewater contests and any other bluewater spearfishing activities.
The words Bluewater Spearfishing are
defined as capturing or attempting to capture, with a
muscle powered speargun while breath holding and
submerged, wild edible bluewater game fish species. There
are some aspects of this activity that cannot be
controlled through rule making, however. Bluewater
spearfishing regulations cannot insure an outstanding
performance from each fish, and world records cannot
indicate the amount of difficulty in capturing fish.
Captures in which the fish is not truly wild do not
reflect credit on the bluewater free diver. Only the
individual spearfisher can properly evaluate the degree
of achievement in establishing the record.
Breath holding divers, using muscle powered spear
guns, must spear and subdue their wild blue water catch
unassisted and make every attempt to land their catch
Rules for documenting the catch and making application
have been formulated. Requirements include notarization,
multiple photographs, common and scientific name of fish,
type of scale, witnesses and so forth. Application fee is
non refundable $50 USD. Record must be requested within 6
months of capture. Official application forms will be
available in English from the Committee or USOA.
For more complete information, brochure and/or application, contact the IBSRC or USOA.
UNDERWATER SOCIETY OF AMERICA
ALBACORE - genus, species: Thunnus alalunga
AMBERJACK - genus, species: Seriola dumerili
BONITO - genus: Sarda
BROADBILL Swordfish - genus, species: Xiphias gladius
COBIA - genus, species: Rachycentron canadum
DOGTOOTH TUNA - genus, species: Gymnosarda unicolor
DOLPHIN FISH, DORADO, MAHI MAHI - genus: Coryphaena
MACKEREL - genus: Scomberomorus
SAILFISH - genus: Istiopohorus
SPEARFISH - genus: Tetrapturus
TREVALLY, Giant - genus, species: Caranx ignobilis
WAHOO - genus, species: Acanthocybium solandri
YELLOWTAIL - genus, species: Seriola lalandi