Spearfishing is an ancient method of fishing that has been used throughout the world for millennia. Early civilizations were familiar with the custom of spearing fish from rivers and streams using sharpened sticks.
Today, modern spearfishing makes use of elastic powered spearguns and slings or compressed gas pneumatic powered spearguns to strike the hunted fish. Specialized techniques and equipment have been developed for various types of aquatic environments and target fish.
Spearfishing may be done using free-diving, snorkeling, or scuba diving techniques. The use of mechanically powered spearguns is outlawed in some jurisdictions. Spearfishing is highly selective, with a low amount of by-catch. With education and proper regulations, spearfishing can be an ecologically sustainable form of fishing.
The best freediving spear fishers can hold their breath for 2 to 4 minutes, and dive to depths of 40 or even 60 meters (130 to 200 feet). However, dives of about one minute and 15 or 20 meters (50 to 70 feet) are more typical for the average spear fisher.

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