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Spear fishing Koh Samui


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Good day everyone,

 

im going to be on Koh samui for a bit and am planning to buy some new or used dive gear and spear gun to do some spear fishing.

 

im looking for any recommendations or even a group of friends to go with. I’m an experienced diver recreationally and professionally as an experienced marine field engineer that worked on many environmental and as-built projects in south Florida and the Bahamas.

 

i know that Barracuda and King Mackeral are popular in the area but I wondering and hoping there are some good spots for grouper and snapper around. Ima assuming I would need a kayak, jet ski or boat to access any location that houses these fish.

 

also I’m curious if Samui and the local area around the island is a protected area or not. I read somewhere that Koh Tao is mostly protected so want to make sure I am following regulations.

 

also does anyone know where I can find fishing/spear fishing regulations for the local area? ie size and limit restrictions(if any).

 

Also willing to pitch in on gas if any of you have your own boat and know some good spots!

 

I am also a decent free diver....

 

thanks in advance!

 

huge bug I got free diving coco cat in the Bahamas a few years back

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Dive gear?  You mean scuba stuff or snorkeling?

From all I have heard from very high level Master Divers and Dive Masters ... using Scuba for spearfishing is against laws everywhere 

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3 minutes ago, Xavnel said:

Dive gear?  You mean scuba stuff or snorkeling?

From all I have heard from very high level Master Divers and Dive Masters ... using Scuba for spearfishing is against laws everywhere 

No it’s not against law everywhere. We use dive gear back home for most every species except in certain areas that fisheries are trying to regulate more strictly due to over fishing. Some places it’s illegal for certain species of fish or sometimes certain areas. It depends on the local law and regulations, which is what I’m trying to find out. I haven’t been able to find local regulations yet.

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18 minutes ago, norfolkandchance said:

Giving the fish a fair chance then.

Yes indeed spearfishing does give a fair chance. Selective targeting keeps unwanted species from being ripped out of the water from depth or injury due to hooks in stomachs. Also reduce the amount of fishing line getting caught on the rocks and reef and is more environmentally friendly compared to drags nets and the local custom fishing practices used by commercial and non commercial fishermen.

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There are size regulations, but difficult to get hold of. Piss of the wrong people and you will get busted, happened to some Frenchies here on Phuket.

 

Personally, if you want to go spearfishing I think it should be done without scuba, snorkeling gear only.

 

You may find BTW that in many areas in the world spearfishing is frowned upon, it seems to be an almost exclusively US pastime. While legal in Thailand it is hardly practiced here.

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10 hours ago, stevenl said:

There are size regulations, but difficult to get hold of. Piss of the wrong people and you will get busted, happened to some Frenchies here on Phuket.

 

Personally, if you want to go spearfishing I think it should be done without scuba, snorkeling gear only.

 

You may find BTW that in many areas in the world spearfishing is frowned upon, it seems to be an almost exclusively US pastime. While legal in Thailand it is hardly practiced here.

I do mostly freedive when shooting shallow or pelagic. Typically only scuba when shooting big grouper deeper then 30m. 

 

I think youre right about getting “busted” my friends that have lived and speared there some time say the rules aren’t really outlined. And that dive shops try to bully certain sites like they own them. I say why can’t we all get along as long as we all respect  the environment, each other and stay safe!

 

thanks for the info Steven. 

 

Maybe someone one can help point us in the right direction to where this difficult to get ahold of info is.

 

By the way I’ve been to a lot of countries spearfishing  and it seems to still be practiced by a lot of people and growing. I would hardly call it a past time. Just a very niche hobby for those that brave it and enjoy. I for one wish they would enforce stricter commercial fishing and instead push them to do spearfishing instead. While it would allow them to more “easily” reach their quota(which they already do) but without the harmful impact of present day commercial fisheries. This has become a real thing in many parts of the US for sometime now and has brought back a lot of fisheries. 

 

By the way I’ve dove a lot in south Florida and Bahamas and I have to admit the reefs there are abundant and growing compared to a lot of places in the world that used to be amazing(of course there are other factors). Just annoying how so 

many people are against spearfishing. 

 

I actually went to school for marine bio and engineering and have had my hand in restoration projects, dredging projects(water quality), coral and sea grass relocation and mapping efforts, built artificial reefs and etc. But yet everyone I’ve ever talked to that doesnt like spearfishing is usually just some recreational diver that likes looking at pretty stuff. everyone I’ve worked with learned from or talked to in the industry is always all about spearfishing and how it can benefit our oceans(if regulated, yes).

 

Sorry( not sorry) for the rant, but people need to become more educated about the these things. There is MUCH worse out there killing our oceans. People shouldn't be so worried about a small group(compared to “fisherman”) of spear-fisherman.

 

Ive also found that the people that don’t like spearfishing in some parts of the world are usually places where dive shops are solely relying on tourists and are worried(because they aren’t knowledgeable) that spearfishing will kill their resident fish like groupers etc. that their greenhorn divers want to see.

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Much of the Samui Archipelago is a National Marine Park where such fishing is probably illegal.

 

Can I ask a question, do you eat what you catch?

 

 

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And that dive shops try to bully certain sites like they own them. I say why can’t we all get along as long as we all respect  the environment, each other and stay safe!

Yes, in general diveshops are not happy when they have divers in the water and spearfishers at the same time. Here on diveboats spearfishing is strictly prohibited.

 

10 hours ago, Basil B said:

Much of the Samui Archipelago is a National Marine Park where such fishing is probably illegal.

Yes, in national marine parks spearfishing is illegal.

 

12 hours ago, Virgobythesea said:

There is MUCH worse out there killing our oceans.

That is not a reason to continue with other bad things.

 

This thread may be of some help,

:Legal info here, https://thethaiger.com/issues-answers/asked/is-spear-fishing-legal

People caught out here, https://thethaiger.com/news/phuket/Similan-spearfishing-boat-banned-national-park

From that link " “We have verified that they did not fish in national park waters. However, they are registered as a tour boat, not as a fishing boat – the company was not allowed to support this activity,” ", so be careful who you go out with.

And finally some other examples why you have to be careful,

 

 

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On 7/28/2019 at 11:29 PM, Basil B said:

Much of the Samui Archipelago is a National Marine Park where such fishing is probably illegal.

 

Can I ask a question, do you eat what you catch?

 

 

Yes indeed, that’s solely the only purpose of it...

 

most definitely is illegal if inside a marine park(I would hope so).

 

thanks!

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14 hours ago, stevenl said:

Yes, in general diveshops are not happy when they have divers in the water and spearfishers at the same time. Here on diveboats spearfishing is strictly prohibited.

 

Yes, in national marine parks spearfishing is illegal.

 

That is not a reason to continue with other bad things.

 

This thread may be of some help,

:Legal info here, https://thethaiger.com/issues-answers/asked/is-spear-fishing-legal

People caught out here, https://thethaiger.com/news/phuket/Similan-spearfishing-boat-banned-national-park

From that link " “We have verified that they did not fish in national park waters. However, they are registered as a tour boat, not as a fishing boat – the company was not allowed to support this activity,” ", so be careful who you go out with.

And finally some other examples why you have to be careful,

 

 

Spearfishing is not a bad thing for the environment. If that’s the case then we should be talking about if you drive a scooter a car, take airplanes, boats even for an example. What about meat you eat, plastics you use, and energy including electricity.

 

if someone is out shooting fish just to shoot fish and or shooting more than they would eat then I would agree. 

 

But just because someone that doesn't understand how fisheries actually work doesn’t like spearfishing doesn’t make it bad for the environment. 

 

Same as vegans that think everyone else is going to hell haha.

 

thanks for the links!!

 

cheers

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10 hours ago, Virgobythesea said:

Spearfishing is not a bad thing for the environment. If that’s the case then we should be talking about if you drive a scooter a car, take airplanes, boats even for an example. What about meat you eat, plastics you use, and energy including electricity.

 

if someone is out shooting fish just to shoot fish and or shooting more than they would eat then I would agree. 

 

But just because someone that doesn't understand how fisheries actually work doesn’t like spearfishing doesn’t make it bad for the environment. 

 

Same as vegans that think everyone else is going to hell haha.

 

thanks for the links!!

 

cheers

"If that’s the case then we should be talking about if you drive a scooter a car, take airplanes, boats even for an example." Yes, we should, and yes, we are more and more. But still not enough.

 

I am regretting having helped you with your quest, you seem to be set in stone and of the 'if you disagree with me that is because you don't know what you're talking about' attitude.

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13 hours ago, Handsome Gardener said:

Nice - come to a foreign area and slaughter the local wildlife for kicks !!

 

Lovely person !

 

If spearfishing is not bad for the environment - please explain how it benefits it - killing for fun is moronic.

 

(the sea is not a 'fishery')

You put it far stronger then I did. Well done

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15 hours ago, worgeordie said:

You can get busted for picking up a starfish or a piece of dead coral,

and the penalties are pretty harsh,so be very careful.

 

regards worgeordie

Where did you find these regulations? These are the types of regulations I am looking for. A lot of people are commenting on regulations that seem to be the obvious regulations of some countries, but no one seems to know where these regulations are. There making me assume people are using regulations from their home country which may or may not be correct for these waters. Does anyone know where the official regulations are or can be found?

 

thanks!

 

 

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15 hours ago, Handsome Gardener said:

Nice - come to a foreign area and slaughter the local wildlife for kicks !!

 

Lovely person !

 

If spearfishing is not bad for the environment - please explain how it benefits it - killing for fun is moronic.

 

(the sea is not a 'fishery')

Slaughter? Haha and actually the sea is a fishery. Or let me guess are you one of those vegans that hate anyone who eats meat. 

 

Secondly spearfishing can be productive for the eco system. Take Florida for instance. Lion fish invasion killing off certain species of fish due to them. Spearfishing which as you know, right??... is selective targeting which rods these invasive species from the waters.

 

so there’s just one benefit for you.

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Just now, Virgobythesea said:

Slaughter? Haha and actually the sea is a fishery. Or let me guess are you one of those vegans that hate anyone who eats meat. 

 

Secondly spearfishing can be productive for the eco system. Take Florida for instance. Lion fish invasion killing off certain species of fish due to them. Spearfishing which as you know, right??... is selective targeting which rods these invasive species from the waters.

 

so there’s just one benefit for you.

Not to mention I DO eat anything I shoot. Also you do realize that all these dives shops marketing for tourist to come and dive on all of these sites is not helping the environment. In fact bring a bunch of uneducated and new divers to the reefs that are left kills reefs as well. They lose dive gear, etc, trash getting blown in the water, divers that dont know how to keep their gear from dangling and dragging on the reefs breaking off soft corals and fans, fins hitting the reef etc.

 

So just because you don’t agree with what I enjoy to do with my spare time doesn’t mean everything else is good too.

 

Let people live their life. If I was on here posting about how I want to go shoot a bunch of fish and bragging about it with no respect then I could understand your comments.

 

BUT I posted here to find some valid regulations so that I can respect what little regulation they do have here in order to make sure I’m not doing wrong as well.

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On 7/30/2019 at 11:34 AM, stevenl said:

"If that’s the case then we should be talking about if you drive a scooter a car, take airplanes, boats even for an example." Yes, we should, and yes, we are more and more. But still not enough.

 

I am regretting having helped you with your quest, you seem to be set in stone and of the 'if you disagree with me that is because you don't know what you're talking about' attitude.

To be fair those links I already saw whenI was searching for regulations. Not to mention they weren’t really of any help. 

 

Im just tired of a bunch of close minded people that posting on a thread that have nothing to benefit other than to be rude because they disagree with someone. If you disagree with someone the normal thing to do is stay away from that person. 

 

Simply came here here looking for regulations.

 

if the people that do t agree with me don’t want to help me with finding the official regulations then that’s their own personal problem. Instead they should be giving beneficial advice like you did so that we can all be educated to help protect the eco system.

 

regardless people will spearfish here, just like the locals do. And honestly I’m sure that a lot of the locals don’t abide by the laws. If you go look at the markets and see how many lobsters and crabs have eggs on them and the sizes of the groupers and snappers. There seems to be no regulations, at least that are actually obeyed by anyone.

 

by the way I did appreciate the links and you trying to help. My comment wasn’t meant directly for you it was more for everyone to see. My apologies 

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1 hour ago, Virgobythesea said:

Where did you find these regulations? These are the types of regulations I am looking for. A lot of people are commenting on regulations that seem to be the obvious regulations of some countries, but no one seems to know where these regulations are. There making me assume people are using regulations from their home country which may or may not be correct for these waters. Does anyone know where the official regulations are or can be found?

 

thanks!

 

 

Just reports on here from Phuket,Samui ,about foreigners arrested ,some held in jail.

fined 100,000 Thb,for few pieces dead coral, another for a starfish,and 2 Japanese

for having 2 juvenile Parrot fish.

 

You need to go to the Dept of Fisheries,and see what the rules are,AND get a copy,

because if the police arrest you they interpret the rules to their benefit =THB.

regards worgeordie

 

 

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6 minutes ago, worgeordie said:

Just reports on here from Phuket,Samui ,about foreigners arrested ,some held in jail.

fined 100,000 Thb,for few pieces dead coral, another for a starfish,and 2 Japanese

for having 2 juvenile Parrot fish.

 

You need to go to the Dept of Fisheries,and see what the rules are,AND get a copy,

because if the police arrest you they interpret the rules to their benefit =THB.

regards worgeordie

 

 

So they do have a dept of fisheries then? Thank you. Do you happen to know where this is located? I have searched and searched

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1 hour ago, Virgobythesea said:

To be fair those links I already saw whenI was searching for regulations. Not to mention they weren’t really of any help. 

as a fellow American welcome to the forum. I used to spearfish in the 70's in Laguna Beach California.

I could be wrong, but just possession of a weapon BY A FARANG like a speargun or Hawaiian Sling might be illegal.

And dive knifes also.     

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I am not speaking from spearfishing experience, but my experience in Thailand tells me a white guy comes out of the ocean with fish, whether it was technically legal or not probably wont matter. To a fisherman or local, those may have been fish meant to earn a living for Thais. Can't reiterate enough i am not agreeing or disagreeing with anyone, just saying that is something that would very likely happen spearfishing in thailand, even if by the book. 

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1 minute ago, NCC1701A said:

as a fellow American welcome to the forum. I used to spearfish in the 70's in Laguna Beach California.

I could be wrong, but just possession of a weapon BY A FARANG like a speargun or Hawaiian Sling might be illegal.

And dive knifes also.     

Along with Air rifles,dildo's,Vaping equipment,playing cards,.....there's sure to be a lot more

but cannot think at the moment.....too busy changing the batteries in the dildo .

regards worgeordie

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14 minutes ago, Virgobythesea said:

So they do have a dept of fisheries then? Thank you. Do you happen to know where this is located? I have searched and searched

so you know, last year a Russian woman was arrested and thrown in jail for FEEDING FISH at the beach.

She stayed in jail for a few days and then paid a fine and was sent home. 

If you can find a Thailand company that provides all of the spear fishing tour services and provide you with every thing on the boat and you know for sure it is legal where you are, then go for it. but don't jump in the water alone someplace and pull out a fish. 

Edited by NCC1701A
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5 minutes ago, NCC1701A said:

so you know, last year a Russian woman was arrested and thrown in jail for FEEDING FISH at the beach.

She stayed in jail for a few days and then paid a fine and was sent home. 

If you can find a Thailand company that provides all of the spear fishing tour services and provide you with every thing on the boat and you know for sure it is legal where you are, then go for it. but don't jump in the water alone someplace and pull out a fish. 

I think that is good advice. A spearfishing tour, ok. A farang hoping out with a Thai's meal ticket, not so much. 

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23 minutes ago, Virgobythesea said:

So they do have a dept of fisheries then? Thank you. Do you happen to know where this is located? I have searched and searched

sorry to sound so negative, I seriously doubt they speak a word of English. 

The dept of fisheries is mainly responsible for covering up slave labor on fishing boats and under reporting catch numbers.

 

but here is the web site.

https://www4.fisheries.go.th/index.php/dof_en 

 

and fishing law. the page is blank of course.

https://www4.fisheries.go.th/index.php/dof_en/view_role/6

Edited by NCC1701A
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