Spearfishing has been outlawed in Naples since the 50's. This law has to be modified to keep up with current trends and culture in the state of Florida. Why is Collier County the only county in Florida with an outright ban of spearfishing? There are many reasons why spearfishing should be allowed closer to shore.
The recent invasion of lionfish in local waters has been documented as far as a few hundred yards off the beach. Lionfish spread rapidly and if left uncontrolled will undoubtedly create a stranglehold on game fisheries crucial to many aspects of our local economy. Spearfishermen are the only line of defense against this invasive species that WILL threaten important stocks of gamefish for decades to come if left unchecked. RIGHT NOW LIONFISH ARE ILLEGAL TO SPEAR IN COLLIER COUNTY.
Limited water visibility limits spearfishing inside of 9nm in Naples anyways, so spearfishing is already limited in those regards. On the east coast where spearfishing thrives you can expect more than 20 foot of visibility on a horrible day. Twenty foot of visibility within 9nm in the Gulf of Mexico would be an outstanding day.
This law must be revised. One possible solution would be to make spearfishing illegal from the shore but allowing it from boats that display proper diving flags.
According to FWC spokeswoman Amanda Nalley, All Collier County Commisioners have to do is request a change to this law and they will revise it. We ask you, Commisioners, make the request.
As of now, it is illegal to stop your boat within 9nm offshore of Naples with a speargun. We propose a change to this outdated and biased law that will have drastic effects on local fishing for decades to come.
Lionfish are here to stay and we need to educate the public on their edibility and exponential reproduction.
Sign this petition and help save the Gulf of Mexico and Naples fishing.
-Naples Spearfishing League
More information can be found here. http://m.naplesnews.com/news/2012/apr/29/in-the-know-why-is-spearfishing-legal-in-florida/