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Scuba spearfishing ban sent to Hawaiian governor for approval

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A rules package that would ban scuba spearfishing in waters off West Hawaii has been sent to Gov. Neil Abercrombie for his approval.

Department of Land and Natural Resources spokeswoman Deborah Ward has said that the document was delivered to the governor on Monday.

Ward says no substantive changes were made to the document, which was approved by the department’s board in June, before it was sent to the governor. The only changes were minor ones to correct grammatical mistakes, she said.

The new rules were developed over 10 years of discussion and hearings by the West Hawaii Fisheries Council. The council is a community advisory group formed in the late 1990s to manage conflicts over fishing.

The restrictions would prohibit spearfishing in waters off West Hawaii by people diving with the aid of scuba gear.

They would also limit the collection of aquarium fish to a list of 40 species and redraw the boundaries of a fishery management area off Puako using updated information on the reef.

The scuba spearfishing ban was the most contentious measure considered.

Those supporting it say scuba spearfishing harms fish stocks and the ecosystem. They said scuba divers target larger fish, which is a concern because the offspring of larger female fish survive better and grow faster than the offspring of younger fish. They also argue that scuba fishermen harvest in deeper waters where fish take refuge.

Fishermen testified before the board that the science doesn’t call for a ban on the practice. They’re also worried that banning spearfishing off West Hawaii would set a precedent and lead to other spearfishing bans around the state.

Photo: Dean Sensui

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Roots Red Sea is the Travelers’ Choice

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There is a remote spot on the coast of the Egyptian Eastern Desert that has been steadily developing an enviable reputation amongst the worlds diving community. It’s absolutely no surprise then that Roots Red Sea has just received TripAdvisors top award, Travelers Choice, the 10th year running it has been recognised with awards from TripAdvisor!

With a passing glance, many divers have dismissed a visit to this gem, its rustic appearance and remote location seemingly enough to deter further consideration. However, those that take a closer look have been rewarded with simply a totally unique experience with awesome diving, an unbelievable welcome and life long memories.

Winning an award once could be luck, every year for 10 years, there has to be a reason. Why not go to find out what it is?

info@rootsredsea.com

www.rootsredsea.com

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The BiG Scuba Podcast… with Nays Baghai

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Gemma and Ian chat to Nays Baghai. Inspired by The Blue Planet as a child, Nays’ work as an underwater cinematographer and photographer has been showcased by numerous premier brands, including Rolex and Sony Alpha.  Nays was featured amongst the Top 30 finalists of the Australasian Top Emerging Photographers competition in the Portfolio and Animal categories. He is a PADI-certified Freediving Instructor and Master Scuba Diver, and can dive to 40m both with and without tanks.

Have a listen here:

Find out more:


Find more podcast episodes and information at the new www.thebigscuba.com  website and on most social platforms @thebigscuba 

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A luxurious dive resort in the heart of Lembeh Strait. Enjoy refined services while exploring the rich waters of Indonesia.

The resort is nestled around an ocean front deck and swimming-pool (with pool-bar) which is the perfect place to enjoy a sundowner cocktail at the end of a busy day of critter-diving.

All accommodation is full board and includes three sumptuous meals a day. Breakfast and lunch are buffet meals and in the evening dining is a la carte.

Book and stay before the end of June and benefit from no single supplements in all room types!

Booking deadline: Subject to availability – book and stay before end of June 2022

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk.

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