conseil réglementation et sécurité pratique chasse sous-marine subea


What are the rules of spearfishing?

The minimum age for spearfishing is 16 years (minors are prohibited from purchasing a speargun). Also, membership in a sports federation approved for spearfishing is required, or possession of a certificate of civil liability related to spearfishing. It must always be available for presentation to the authorities in case of verification. Every spearfisherman must indicate his presence with an easily identifiable buoy. Also, every spearfishing enthusiast must comply with the minimum catch size, must ensure that his hunting equipment is authorised, and must obtain information on the areas, periods, prohibitions and any orders related to fishing (Art R921-84).


Fishing, transshipment, storage, debarkation, transportation, exposure for sale, sale and purchase of any fish, crustacean, mollusk or any marine animal are prohibited without an order from the fisheries minister (Art R922-2)

The following are prohibited: (Art R921-92)

- Any use of breathing equipment, self-contained or not, that will allow a submerged person to breathe without returning to the surface. As such, it is prohibited from having onboard the boat, at the same time (without a exemption from the prefecture), any breathing equipment and a spear or special device for spearfishing.
- Spearfishing devices for which the propulsion force results from the detonation power of a chemical mixture or release of a compressed gas, unless the compression thereof is obtained by a mechanism operated by the user.
- The simultaneous presence on board and usage of spearfishing equipment and an underwater scooter.
- Spearfishing between the legal hours of sunset and sunrise. This implies a prohibition on using any illuminated source for hunting.
- Coming closer than 150 m from a fishing boat or vessel with visible markings.
- Taking marine animals caught in devices or nets placed by other fishermen.
- Using, in order to catch crustaceans, a spear or special device for spearfishing.
- Keeping a spearfishing device loaded when not in the water.

spearfishing provisions subea


As spearfishing is completely integrated into its environment and dependent on it, in order to preserve fishery resources as well as to ensure safety, sanitary conditions, public health and orderly fishing activities, the administrative authority can apply limiting measures (Art R921-93) :
- Reducing the list or number of hunting devices aboard boats.
- Listing the authorised fishing devices or processes, and their characteristics.
- Permanently or temporarily prohibiting fishing in certain areas or at certain periods.
- Prohibiting or limiting the fishing and/or transport of certain species.
- Capturing crustaceans with the use of a spear gun.
- Establishing protected zones around marine farming areas, artificial structures or fish-aggregating devices (FAD)
- Establishing protected zones around marine farming areas, artificial structures or fish-aggregating devices

It is always necessary to check with maritime officials with regard to any locally applicable regulations. The laws surrounding spearfishing are burdensome and limiting, but intended to provide a framework for the sport so that everyone can participate while limiting any harm to the marine environment, and any abuse.

réglementation sécurité pêche responsable mailles mer méditerranée atlantique manche mer du nord chasse sous-marine subea


For responsible fishing!

When spearfishing, it's essential to be aware of the regulatory and biological length limits for the fish that you catch, in order to respect the marine environment. Check out our advice on length limits in the Mediterranean, Atlantic, Channel and North Sea!


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                    ARTICLE WRITTEN BY

                    baptiste digital manager subea
                    Baptiste, Subea Digital Manager

                    I'm the Digital Manager for the Subea brand. I'm keen on spearfishing and freediving and have been scuba diving for over fifteen years. I have my level 1 FFESSM and PADI certifications up to “Rescue” level.

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