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Spearfishing Cornwall: Exploring the Thrills of Underwater Hunting


Spearfishing is a thrilling underwater activity that combines the art of hunting with the beauty of the marine world. Cornwall, with its diverse coastline and abundant marine life, offers an ideal destination for spearfishing enthusiasts. In this article, we will delve into the wonders of spearfishing in Cornwall, highlighting popular locations, legal aspects, equipment requirements, safety precautions, and the necessary training to embark on this exciting adventure.

Heading 1: Where to Spearfish in Cornwall (500 words): Cornwall is a paradise for spearfishers, offering a variety of prime locations to explore. Some notable spearfishing spots include:

  1. Port Gaverne: Situated on the north coast, Port Gaverne boasts clear waters, rocky reefs, and abundant marine biodiversity. Here, you can encounter species such as bass, wrasse, and pollack.

  2. Looe: The coastal town of Looe, located in South Cornwall, provides access to both shore and boat spearfishing opportunities. Its rich underwater ecosystem is home to a wide range of fish, including mackerel, mullet, and plaice.

  3. Penzance: Known for its proximity to the famous wreck of the SS James Eagan Layne, Penzance offers a unique spearfishing experience. The wreckage attracts various species, such as conger eels, pollock, and cod.

Additionally, key phrases such as Falmouth, St. Mawes, Isles of Scilly, Mevagissy, Porth Curno, St. Michaels Mount, and Porthscatho are also worth exploring for their remarkable underwater landscapes and diverse marine life.

Spearfishing sea-bass in cornwall

Legal Aspects of Spearfishing in the UK

spearfishing cornwall

Spearfishing is a popular recreational activity in the UK, but it is essential to understand the legal aspects to ensure responsible fishing practices and protect marine ecosystems. Here are the key regulations and restrictions you need to be aware of:

Spearfishing in Protected Areas: Certain areas in the UK, such as marine reserves and designated marine conservation zones, are off-limits to spearfishing. These protected areas are crucial for preserving marine biodiversity and ecosystem health. Always check local regulations and consult official marine charts or websites to identify restricted zones and respect their boundaries.

Size Limits and Quotas: To prevent overfishing and maintain sustainable fish populations, size limits and quotas are in place for certain species targeted by spearfishers. These restrictions vary depending on the species and geographical area. It is crucial to familiarize yourself with the specific regulations governing the size and number of fish you can legally harvest. This information can be obtained from local fishing authorities or government websites dedicated to fisheries management.

Fishing Licenses: Whilst a fishing licence isn't needed for recreation sing spearfishing in salt water some areas do require you to have a permit for some activities often associated with recreational spearfishing, such as collecting lobsters, crabs and scallops. If you're looking to spear-fish commercially then you need to seek out the requisite licences for the area you're looking to work in.

Compliance and Penalties: Compliance with fishing regulations is vital to preserve the marine environment and ensure the long-term sustainability of fish stocks. Failure to adhere to the regulations may result in penalties, including fines or the revocation of fishing privileges. It is the responsibility of every spearfisher to understand and follow the rules to minimize negative impacts on the ecosystem.

Educational Resources: To stay informed about the latest fishing regulations and guidelines, refer to official government websites, fisheries management organizations, or local fishing clubs. These resources provide up-to-date information on fishing rules, conservation initiatives, and educational materials to enhance your knowledge of sustainable fishing practices. Engaging with the spearfishing community and participating in local workshops or seminars can also expand your understanding of the legal aspects and promote responsible spearfishing practices.

By being knowledgeable about the legal framework and regulations governing spearfishing in the UK, you can enjoy your underwater adventures while contributing to the conservation and protection of the marine environment. Always prioritize sustainable fishing practices, respect protected areas, and ensure you have the necessary licenses before venturing out on your spearfishing excursions.

lobsters caught in cornwall
spearfishing cornwall
spearfishing cornwall

Equipment and Safety Precautions

  • Spearguns: The primary tool used for spearfishing, spearguns come in various types, including pneumatic, band-powered, and rail guns. Choose a speargun that suits your experience level and the type of fish you intend to target. Consider factors such as range, accuracy, and ease of use when selecting your speargun.

  • Wetsuits: Spearfishing often involves spending extended periods in the water, so a good-quality wetsuit is essential. Wetsuits provide thermal insulation and protection against the cold water. Choose a wetsuit that offers both comfort and flexibility while keeping you warm throughout your dives. Opt for thickness based on the water temperature of your spearfishing location.

  • Masks and Snorkels: A well-fitting mask is crucial for clear vision underwater, allowing you to spot fish and navigate effectively. Look for masks with a comfortable fit, tempered glass lenses for durability, and a low volume design for easy equalization. A snorkel is necessary for efficient breathing at the surface while observing fish or waiting for your next dive.

  • Fins: Fins help propel you through the water with greater efficiency and speed. They come in various styles, including full-foot and open-heel fins. Consider factors such as comfort, flexibility, and kicking power when choosing your fins. Opt for fins that provide a balance between performance and comfort to enhance your spearfishing experience.

  • Weight Belt: Spearfishing often requires divers to descend to different depths. A weight belt helps you achieve neutral buoyancy by compensating for the positive buoyancy of your wetsuit and equipment. Choose the appropriate amount of weight based on your body composition and diving conditions. Ensure you have a quick-release mechanism on your weight belt for safety reasons.

  • Dive Knife: A dive knife is a valuable tool for safety and practical purposes. It can be used to free yourself from entanglement, cut lines, or dispatch fish ethically. Choose a dive knife with a sturdy blade, corrosion-resistant material, and a secure sheath for safe storage and accessibility.

spearfising sea bass
can caught lobster in cornwall
Hand Diving for Lobsters in Cornwall


Spearfishing in Cornwall offers an exhilarating opportunity to explore the underwater world, experience the thrill of the hunt, and connect with nature. From the scenic coastal towns of Falmouth and St. Mawes to the stunning Isles of Scilly and the vibrant marine life of Mevagissy and Porth Curno, Cornwall is a spearfishing paradise. However, it is essential to understand the legal aspects, acquire the necessary equipment, and follow safety guidelines to ensure a responsible and enjoyable spearfishing experience.

By familiarizing yourself with the local regulations, obtaining the required licenses, and respecting marine ecosystems, you can embark on a sustainable spearfishing journey. Remember to prioritize safety, dive with a buddy, and adhere to best practices to mitigate potential risks. With the right equipment, knowledge, and respect for the underwater world, spearfishing in Cornwall can be an unforgettable adventure that allows you to appreciate the beauty and abundance of marine life while honing your hunting skills. So gear up, dive into the crystal-clear waters, and embrace the excitement of spearfishing in Cornwall.

freshly cooked cornish lobster
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