The Philippines is surrounded by beaches and along with that comes rich aquatic resources. Fishing is one of the main source income of locals especially the ones near the oceans. But if you’re a tourist and you want to catch your dinner, can you spearfish?
As the top rated Expedition Expert in Coron, we think we’d shed some light to these questions.
Is spearfishing illegal?
Okay, so first off, no. Spearfishing in the Philippines is legal and a lot of locals enjoy doing this. You don’t even have to go to deeper water to do so. That’s how rich the Philippine waters are. You can bring your gear and go for it unless you’re in a sanctuary. Not all sanctuaries are marked in the country so it’s best to be careful or just ask the locals if it’s a sanctuary or not.
Why is it forbidden in some parts?
You might get confused from time to time because your hotel/resort might forbid you from spearfishing while the hotel/resort next to yours doesn’t. The first reason why it might be banned is when you’re in a sanctuary. This is done to protect the marine life in the area.
The other reason why it might be forbidden in some parts is when some resort owners make up their own rules about spearfishing. Some of them don’t allow their guests to spearfish while diving but allows them only when freediving. Some resort owners, however, bans spearfishing entirely.
What do I do if I wanna spearfish?
Well, first of all, you have to go to places that not a lot of tourists or foreigners go to. So you’ll have to go off the beaten track and do it outside the tourist areas. This may be unconventional but some foreigners befriend locals so they can take them on their boats. Especially the ones who have their own boats like fishermen. What happens is they then go to the market early in the morning, find the fishermen, and join their boat when they set out to fish. You can offer to keep the rest of the fish that you’re not gonna use or offer them a small amount as payment. (That’s somewhere around 20USD in case you’re wondering). Do this at your own risk.
You’ll see a lot of locals using their improvised spearguns but you won’t really find a place to buy it anywhere. Well, that’s not entirely true. You can’t find them in malls or dive resorts but you can find them in some dive shops or special outdoor stores. Okay, fine. It’s not easy but it’s not impossible either. You can bring your own however you’ll have to check with the airport you’re flying in and out of. Some airlines allow them depending on the type you have and as long as you dismantle what you can and put them in a secure bag. Others use golf bags to store their spearfishing gear but this may vary depending on the Country you’re coming in and out from.
If you’re a newbie, this is perfect for you. Spearfishing as a sport can be very demanding. You have to be a certified freediver to go spearfishing and if you wanna up your game, Palawan offers spearfishing courses. You can do a 2 day advanced spearfishing course which involves 1. A pure freediving training applied for spearfishing which offer you a larger hunting area and stealth diving techniques training and bottom time. And 2. The actual fishing session and lessons on selecting the equipment buoyancy management and working on your approach skills.
So there you go! We hope we’ve answered some of the most asked questions about spearfishing.
If you’re up for a different kind of adventure, you can also go for our Island Life Expedition.
Happy fishing! Cheers!