For the biggest part of my life I got my fish, like most people, at the grocery store. When I started spearfishing, I discovered a whole new world.
No more suspicious, polluted farm fish; no more species harvested by hundreds of thousands of gigantic nets. Just me and the ocean, catching my own dinner.
What surprised me the most however, was the backlash that came with it. Although I changed my habits for a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle, it was massively misunderstood by a lot of people.
Since when did it become socially unacceptable to harvest your own food by risking your life, making sure you take only what you need, without any by-catch, without damaging the corals, and in the most humane way possible?
With the advent of greenwashing, food sourcing became a taboo subject. However, it is probably one of the most important topics that need to be discussed right now. The world’s over-consumption of fish and seafood is a reality, especially in Asia, and the more we turn the blind eye to it, the worse it’s going to get.
The practices currently in place are destroying the oceans and the well-provisioned fish counter at the grocery stores are far from disappearing. We must discuss alternatives. The lack of discussion is what allows those big companies to continue what they are doing. Telling people to stop an eating habit without providing an alternative simply doesn’t work.
Recently, many people realized that commercial fruit and vegetable farms are damaging the planet by spraying harmful chemicals, so they decided to grow their own garden instead. Spearfishing is exactly that. It is about not being satisfied with damaging commercial practices in place (farm-raising included) and deciding to go harvest our fish ourselves, in order to consume them in an ecological, ethical, and responsible way. Can you tell the provenance of 100% of the fish you consume? Well, I can.
Divers should be the pioneers of open conversations and debate on food sourcing, rather than shutting down conversation by fear of offending certain individuals – especially considering that most of the people feeling outraged are often buying fish at the market or buying a fish “filet” at McDonalds.
Whether you agree or not with the practice of spearfishing, it is crucial to discuss fish sourcing and potential alternatives.
That being said, by taking the time to discover spearfishing, you’ll find a beautiful lifestyle with an incredible philosophy, filled with people caring deeply about ocean conservation.