Awesome shot by Jim Klug.
Let me be clear… I don’t intend to give the “other side” equal time on this blog. I think spear fishing tarpon is wrong and I’m not willing to indulge the moral relativism they’d like to engage in.
I’m also glad to see that Fly Life Magazine isn’t ready to let it drop either.
I’m not against spear fishing. I’m against the bravado fueled killing-for-the-sake-of-killing exhibited by these guys.
They say “thousands of tarpon are killed by fly and conventional anglers every year by fighting fish to exhaustion or by inadvertently feeding the fish to sharks who are lurking in the shadows. All that is wrong and we only kill a few tarpon so you guys need to deal with the non-spear fishing tarpon fishery problems before you come and talk to us about killing only a few fish.”
This argument is, pardon my French, un sac de merde.
It is like saying “You don’t like me shooting dogs for fun? Well, thousands of dogs are killed every year by motorists on roads all over the country and we only kill a few dozen dogs. You need to deal with your dog-running-over problem before you come and talk to us about killing only a few dogs.”
Their argument also ignores the fact that most fly anglers are extremely opposed to things like the PTTS that Save the Tarpon is working against so tirelessly. They also ignore the new tarpon regs that look like they are coming down, pushed by fly anglers and legit conservation organizations like the Bonefish and Tarpon Trust (which, I’d add, does a heck of a lot of research and doesn’t need to get spear caught tarpon to do it).
This appears to be at least some of the research done by Dr. Stein. The study cites three tarpon caught by the spear fishing club, but there are sure more than three tarpon kills in evidence from the various pics around the web of various Hell Diver members.
This just has to stop.