Monday, May 30, 2011

Learning from the hunters.

Spearfisher and hamerhead evolution

The majority of underwater photographers are very  pro-conservation. Some even going to the lengths of boycotting movies when scenes were not filmed with proper underwater etiquette. So it comes at no surprise that the UW photography community often holds little love for the spearfishing community.

But wait, the spear fishermen spend a lot of time in the water learning fishes behavior and how to "call" them close. This could be a very useful tool to a cameraman who is trying to get a fish in for the right shot. 

Here are some tricks that I've learned while hanging out with the spearos: 

Flashers - Predatory fish love things that sparkle. I have used everything from glueing on reflective tape to my fins to keep large fish around,  to dropping spoons to get them curious and in the right spot.

Dusting -  Some fish like to eat little bugs and worms that live in the sand. Animals like Rays will chomp down and the sand will plume out of the gills. Smaller fish will come right in to see if there is anything left they can scavenge on. To simulate this all we have to do is toss a little bit of sand up, and fish will come running for lunch. 

Tapping rocks-  I'm guessing the reef chompers like the Uhu ( parrot fish)  make some noise when grinding on the reef. Tap two rocks together and you're mimicking the sound, other fish will come on in to see whats so tasty. 

Grunting - Many types of fish will grunt when another fish is entering their territory. Capitalize on the fish's curious nature to get them to check you out. 

But I think the biggest thing that I have learned from the spearos is how to blend in with the environment. Using the terrain, staying still, and for god sake, NO bubbles. Unless you are a freediver, you would never imagine how most fish feel uncomfortable with the bubbles of a scuba tank.

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