Please find attached a flyer developed by the Department of Primary Industries, Recreational Fisheries Management Team following complaints about spearfishing at Shark Beach, Nielsen Park.
In an email to the USFA, Fisheries Manager, Jim Harnwell states,
"We are proposing to provide copies of the flier to National Parks rangers to distribute to spearfishers and members of the public.
The aim of the flier is to remind spearfishers about appropriate behaviour etc but also inform the public that spearfishing is a safe and legitimate sport which is allowed at this location.
This will hopefully help reduce conflict as it seems some members of the public are unaware that spearfishing is a legal activity at this location."
Copies of the flyer will also be distributed to Sydney Compliance Officers as well as to the USFA.
This is a great initiative by DPI on behalf of Spearfishers. The USFA are very grateful for their efforts and have welcomed the opportunity to be part of this process to further advocate for the rights of NSW Spearfishers.
In February of 1951 the Underwater Spear Fishermen’s Association (USFA) produced its first magazine, “Spearfishing News”. With USFA secretary Jim Ferguson as editor this publication consisted initially of 6 typewritten pages. Produced monthly it contained hints on spearfishing and equipment, information on rules, monthly and committee meetings, clubs, trophies and a Man of the Month section.
“Spearfishing News” continued being produced by the committee every month until September of 1952 when it first appeared as a commercial publication of 24 A5 pages. After the first 2 issues Jim Ferguson wasn’t happy with the new format and reverted to a typewritten publication for the November issue.
At the November committee meeting of the USFA Jim Ferguson was requested to outline his plan for the future of the magazine. As the committee wished to continue with a commercially printed publication Jim Ferguson resigned and a magazine committee consisting of Edward Du Cros (Editor), Keith Vagg (Associate Editor ) and Jeff Jackson (Advertising) was elected with the first issue being in December 1952 with a cover price of one shilling.
The September 1953 issue saw a name change to the “Australian Skin Diving & Spearfishing Digest” and in November of 1953 Keith Vagg took the reins as Editor.
Producing the magazine was a continuing struggle and in July of 1954 the production and Editorial role for the magazine passed to Phil Knightly. In November of 1954 he was replaced with Richard Dreyfus, who worked in the Mirror office.
By January of 1955 it was reported that the handling of the magazine was unsatisfactory and the services of Mr. Dreyfus were dispensed with. The Feb-March 1955 issue was produced by Dick Barton as temporary editor until September of 1955 when Ray Cooper became the editor. In August of 1956 John Thompson as the USFA’s Business Manager took on the task of producing the magazine until October of 1960 when H.R.Smith & Biro with Bob Smith as Editor, produced the magazine for the USFA.
This commercial agreement did not work out and in March of 1961 the USFA again resumed control with a new editor and a new name. With Jack Evans as editor and the title “Australian Skindivers Magazine” (ASM), production ran smoothly under his stewardship until he reluctantly relinquished his position as editor, due to overseas commitments. Jack Evans last magazine was the June/July 1969 issue.
John Gillies was then appointed editor with the July/August 1969 edition his first issue with another first for the ASM, a coloured front cover. However by July of 1970 a financial storm was gathering with the USFA not being in the position of being able to pay the printers for the release of the June/July 1970 issue. When payments were recouped by advertisers, the July issue was belatedly released, this being the final issue of the ASM.
During 1968 a new publication became available nationally with the title “Diver Magazine”. Consisting of 24 pages it was sponsored by Brisbane’s Underwater Adventurers Club with the editor being Don Scheikowski. It appears to have been confined to just a single issue.
This was followed in October of 1969 by “Australian Diver”, also with Don Scheikowski as editor. With a cover price of thirty cents and 24 pages of content it lasted for three monthly issues.
In the latter half of 1970 the man who was to become the undisputed king of dive publishing in Australia introduced his first publication “Skindiving in Australia”.
Barry Andrewartha had developed a passion for skindiving after seeing a spearfisher in action while on holidays at Lorne in 1954. The following year Barry began to spearfish and joined the Black Rock Underwater Group and two years later the USFA of Victoria where he held a number of positions.
Barry had served an apprenticeship in the printing industry as a compositor and later formed a friendship with Jack Evans, the editor of ASM, and began assisting with its production, producing half tone printing plates and other items and on the way gaining much invaluable experience.
Realising the ASM’s demise was inevitable Barry planned to fill the void with “Skindiving in Australia”. Initially produced as a quarterly magazine it underwent several name changes in its 46 years of uninterrupted production.
1970 August? Skindiving in Australia 1st Edition
1974 Vol. 4 No 5 Name change to Skindiving in Australia and New Zealand
1980 Vol. 10 No 2 Name change to Skindiving in Australia & the South Pacific
1987 March/April Sport Diving in Australia & the South Pacific N0.1
1993 June/July Name change to Sport Diving
2016 June/July Final issue of Sport Diving (No. 171)
In October of 1978 Barry Andrewartha first published “Dive News”, on behalf of the Scuba Divers Federation. With Peter Stone as editor and a cover price of 20 cents this eight page newspaper ran for three years until it was discontinued due to lack of support.
Then in August of 1988 with David King as editor Barry published the first issue of “Dive Log”. Initially a 20 page tabloid style newspaper it was available free of charge each month through Dive Shops. It ran very successfully but rising costs caused production to be discontinued with Dive Log available online. Production of a printed issue was recommenced, being available through newsagents and is now a flagship publication incorporating Sport Diving.
Then followed “Scuba Business” a trade journal that ran for four years.
Barry introduced another tabloid newspaper during the summer of 1993/94 when “Australian Freediving & Spearfishing News” became available. In March 1998 with issue number 15 it was renamed “International Freediving and Spearfishing News”. It is still being produced to this day.
In December of 1970 “Fathom” magazine appeared in newsagent’s stands. Produced by Gareth Powell with John Harding as Editor and Roy Bisson in charge of design, Fathom set new standards in production and design and continued for 10 issues until early 1973.
Another magazine with the title of “Australian Diver” was produced in September 1976 by J.W. Publications, Springvale Victoria. Like its predecessor it was short lived.
Neville Coleman published his first issue of “Underwater” in mid-1981. Introduced as a quarterly publication it initially consisted of 48 pages with a cover price of $2.50. In 1989 with issue number 25 the name was changed to “Underwater Geographic”. The magazine had grown to have 96 pages of content and the cover price was now $5.00.
Also in 1981 another magazine catering for scuba divers had its beginnings when in December Chronicle Publications, with Anthony Newly as editor introduced “The Scuba Diver”, a bi-monthly publication of 56 pages with a cover price of $1.95.
The 10th Anniversary issue dated Oct/Nov 1991 with Cassie Welsh as editor and now produced by the Yaffa Publishing Group was renamed “Scuba Diver”. In March/April 1999 it became “Australian Scuba Diver” with Sue Crowe as editor.
The Dec 2001/Jan 2002 issue heralded yet another name change, this being to “Australasian Scuba Diver”. The magazine now had 104 pages of content and with Michael Aw at the helm the magazine was now being printed and published in Singapore.
Described as 68 pages of spearfishing action “Spearfishing Downunder” was introduced as a quarterly publication with Craig Barnett as editor/publisher in 2004.
These periodicals and the many publications produced over time by clubs and state/national organisations etc. encapsulate the events of their time and provide a wonderful resource for historians, now and in the future. No effort should be spared in their preservation.
The NSW Government is inviting your comments on suggested management initiatives to enhance marine biodiversity in the Hawkesbury Shelf marine bioregion. Please note that the consultation period has been extended until Sunday 8th May 2016.
The Marine Estate Management Authority (MEMA) has created a discussion paper where they describe eight suggested management initiatives in the Hawkesbury Shelf Marine Bioregion Assessment. The USFA agrees with most of these Initiatives except for Initiative 4 - Spatial Management.
Spatial management is basically another name for Lockouts. The USFA is opposed to lockouts as we believe there are better management strategies than total lockouts.
USFA's Matthew Poulton answers some questions on what the Hawkesbury Shelf marine bioregion assessment created by the Marine Estate Management Authority (MEMA) means for spear fishers in NSW, Sydney, Newcastle & Wollongong.
The USFA’s Issues with the Hawkesbury Shelf Marine Bioregion Assessment
As many of you are aware there is a huge push to create another marine park from Newcastle to Wollongong. We are working as hard as we can to minimise the impacts to spear fishers as much as possible. We set to lose out big time here especially as shallow reefs and headlands <25m include 95% of the areas that we dive.
Another new year has come around and therefore timely that I make mention of some good things that will continue on benefitting all spearos. In the USFA we are fortunate to have many talented members who willingly volunteer their time to assist in the running of the Association.
a) The first Sunday of every month of the year, except January, Mother’s Day, long weekends and major championships. Dates for the upcoming year are to be notified three (3) months prior to commencement. The year commences 1st January and completes 31st Where agreed, Allimans may be held in conjunction with major metro controlled events.
b) A notified date shall not include any date which has been allocated to another championship event except as in (a) above. It shall also not include any date which has been previously notified by any club as a veto date. Veto date must be notified to committee at least four (4) months prior to the upcoming competition year.
c) Alliman Shields must be held on the notified scheduled dates.
d) Allimans will start and finish at the following times
January, February, March, April, May, June - 8am till 1.15pm
July, August, September, October, November, December – 8am till 1.15pm
These times may vary only where an Alliman is conducted in conjunction with a major Metro controlled competition normally 8am till 2pm or as otherwise notified at the venue.