Can You Scuba Dive and Spearfish

Can You Scuba Dive and Spearfish? Yes, But Pros & Cons Go Hand in Hand

By Sophia the SeaMonster on Dec 31, 2022

“Is it possible or not” was the primary reason why I leant towards the question, ‘Can you scuba dive and spearfish.’ Maybe you’re asking this with the same mindset or you want to know this from a moral or legal perspective.

Yes, it’s possible. That’s one tiny sentence. But exploring the idea from different angles required me to write this brief but comprehensive text. So let’s get straight into it.

Can You Scuba Dive and Spearfish?

If you can – or maybe already are doing – spearfishing on breath-hold diving, there’s no point left confusing you whether you can or can’t spearfish on scuba.

From a morality perspective, many argue that spearfishing on scuba is ‘unfair’ to fish as it’s easier for the diver to catch a fish - less effort and a rarely emptied freezer with their favorite fish! But that’s only half of the story.

The first 50% of the remaining half is:

If this way is ‘unfair,’ then angling fishing using a hook and a fishing line should be ‘more’ unfair to fish. What anglers do is they appear as scammers. They wrap a tasty bait around a life-threatening hook. The poor fish hardly ever knows, ‘I’m going to be hunted if I take that worm into my mouth.’ Worst of all is that often the baits aren’t natural - they’re artificial ones used to mislead and entice the fish to bite it accidentally.

The final 50% is:

Fish are sensitive to bubble vibrations and have very keen eyesight. So blow a few bubbles, and the fish will hint there’s a danger and run away from you.

Now, who’ll decide what’s unfair or fair? Or less unfair or more unfair? The thing is: Spearfishing on scuba is a mere one of the ways of capturing fish, just like angling or net-fishing.

Morality is one aspect, but is it legal? In the US, it’s typically legal if not prohibited by local laws. However, It’s illegal in most of Europe.

But what if it’s legal where you are, or if you simply don’t care that it’s illegal or immoral? Perhaps knowing some pros and cons may help you take that catch-and-release-your-thoughts play (pun intended) to an end!

Pros and Cons of Scuba Dive Spearfishing 


  • Spearfishing on scuba allows you to be more selective of the fish you want to target. Unlike freediving, you have more time to measure, determine species, and conform to regulations without worrying about available air in your lungs. For example, some groupers can change their color, which could cause you to misidentify the species. In addition, scuba allows you to take the time to be sure before taking aim instead of rushing and hunting a fish that’s illegal to capture just because you’re cutting short on the air in your lungs.
  • Given a spear and a tank, you simply avoid limitations and hurdles often confronted in freediving and angling. As a result, you have less of a challenge and difficulty; you prevent the randomness of catch, and you don’t care about depth unless it’s terrifying you.


  • Bubbles, noise, and simply giving the fish even a simple hint that you’re dangerous to fish, you’re spooking fish.
  • It would help if you had a good grasp of some crucial knowledge before you dive scuba. This includes knowing what fish species are legal or not and predetermining how long your scuba tank will last underwater so that you spend your time wisely without putting yourself at any risk down there.
  • Unlike hook and line, spearfishing on scuba doesn’t allow for catch-and-release fishing.
  • Spearfishing on scuba is a good idea if done just for recreational purposes. But if you do it to get a decent amount of protein, it will be expensive. All the equipment - and their maintenance - needed for scuba diving is more costly than buying seafood from the market.
  • You’re more likely to empty your scuba tank faster as searching and chasing certain fish and then carrying it out on the surface requires more physical effort and thereby causes the tank to drain more quickly.

Final Thought

So, it’s now up to you whether spearfishing with scuba is correct, fair, beneficial, or suitable for you. Whatever intent you do it with, we always wish you and dear fish all the best!

PreviousHow Long Does Scuba Tank Last? Here’s the Correct Answer
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