The Code of Conduct for spearfishing in NSW and information about caring for the environment has been developed as a minimum standard. The aim is to ensure that all spearfishers are aware of the high standard of behaviour expected.
Preservation of the marine environment and the sport are mutual objectives.This code applies to all members of the USFA. It is intended to discourage certain types of unacceptable behaviour which may discredit the sport of spearfishing. Serious cases, such as members willingly engaged in illegal activities, may result in penalties including suspension or expulsion. Please become familiar with this handbook and the Codes of Conduct.
Reported sightings indicate that the population of Grey Nurse Sharks may be on the increase. To protect the species for future generations of divers to enjoy, please adhere to the USFA Code of Conduct for Grey Nurse Sharks.
This code represents the minimum standards of behaviour and actions required when Spearfishing in proximity to Grey Nurse Sharks. The code is part of the membership commitments to the Underwater Skindivers and Fishermen’s Association (USFA).
It also serves as the default standard for all NSW Spearfishers. When spearfishing near where Grey Nurse Sharks congregate:
Grey Nurse Sharks are best recognised by their almost equally-sized dorsal fins and are not normally dangerous. Grey nurse sharks are a critically endangered species and protected by law.
Rules governing protected species apply to all recreational fishers. This code of conduct for protected species aims to further enforce these regulations within the spearfishing community and similarly educate divers on the importance of preservation.
NSW DPI have an Action Programme which includes a Protected Species sighting form www.dpi.nsw.gov.au
Ongoing evidence is required on the quantities and areas where Grey Nurse Sharks abound in order to assess their current threatened species status. Members are encouraged to report any sightings of protected and threatened species.
This code of conduct applies to all USFA members. Members will make themselves familiar as to what species are “protected” in NSW and classified as “threatened” (i.e. vulnerable or endangered) according to the provisions of the NSW DPI Management Act 1994. See NSW DPI www.dpi.nsw.gov.au Members will not knowingly disturb protected or threatened species or their habitat. Members will try to educate those who may not otherwise be aware of the regulations.
Refer to the Protected Species section on this site for more specific information.