At Spearfishing Australia, our goal has consistently been to establish an unparalleled space for knowledge, support, and value. To uphold these principles, we organise frequent spearfishing educational’s across various locations in Australia.
This past June, AUP led a spearfishing educational on Australia’s Southern Great Barrier Reef- specifically, the Swain Reef system. This trip, aimed at retailers to promote knowledge through learning by doing, delivered, in both its experience and its wealth of knowledge in the individuals who attended.
Neil and Bjorn, AUP‘s reps from Queensland and New South Wales, spearheaded the trip (pun intended). They Ied interactive educational discussions and presentations, including fish ID, size limits, species behaviour and hunting techniques, covered diver safety, and conducted real-world end-of-day assessments, recognising what people did well and where/how they could improve. Few individuals can claim the level of contribution these two have made to spearfishing in Australia, making their instruction and guidance that much more valuable.
As has been the case in previous conferences, the ability to relate to fellow business operators in the industry is a massive benefit in itself. Discussions of strategies, promotions, practices, and resources used often help lead to future “wins” in attendees‘ own business. That, along with potential networking, makes time “topside” just as worthwhile.
I have attended a few of these now, and whilst I’d rate my first trip as delivering the most value for my knowledge in spear, this one has delivered the most in experience, and has reinforced my capabilities and knowledge. We were blessed with great weather, and our haul was impressive. I shot my first dogtooth tuna, and have a much greater appreciation and understanding of how to successfully catch these larger types of fish. Many other attendees had many “firsts” for different species caught, and all were conscientious about each shot, knowing what they were targeting, as well as being judicious over size.
What I love about spearfishing is that one has an objective whilst in the splendor of the reef environment. Regardless of whether I fulfil that objective or not, I’m still greeted with dropoffs of tabling acropora and scrolling montipora coral, teems of shoaling baitfish, as well as other reef fish, such as angels, butterflies, and surgeons. Not only were we lucky enough to have your turtles, stingrays, and sharks (luckily only friendy ones), but also a curious migrating Minke whale! It swam amongst groups for well over an hour, sometimes getting within 10 meters of divers as it took a curious look.
We are so blessed to have this place, and so many others like it, available to us domestically. If you haven’t experienced this firsthand, you owe it to yourself to do it. As an underwater ambassador, you owe this knowledge to your “tribe”, your following of people. What we have in our own backyard is world-class, and encouraging our customer base, our networks, our friends, and our families to do this themselves will not only enrich their lives, but will foster that passion for the underwater world, leading to its protection, better accessibility, and a growing of our sport, our businesses and our industry.
Yours in diving, and wishing that you forever stay salty,
About the contributor: Allen is Australian Underwater Products’ representative for Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania. He is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, a basic cave diver, as well as a certified Prism 2 rebreather diver. Allen holds a business degree from Colorado Mesa University, as well as a MBA from Southern Cross University. He resides in Safety Beach, Victoria with his wife and 5 year old son.