Geelong Freedivers Inc. Introduction to Spearfishing Student Handbook

Amateur freediver members of the Geelong Freedivers Inc (GFD) developed this handbook to offer the information new divers need to know and have asked to know about spearfishing in Victoria. The information supports a course on spearfishing occasionally run by the GFD. The course meets the requirements of the Australian Underwater Federation (AUF) Ocean Snorkel diver – spearfishing award. Please offer feedback on errors, omissions, or practical content inclusions to


Spearfishing is a safe, sustainable, selective, seafood gathering method. It allows us to take exactly which fish we want with zero bycatch, pollution, contamination, discarded nets, lines or other rubbish or debris. Spearfishing targets only one fish at a time and these are often species different to what a rod and line might catch – the menu can expand to include scallops, bugs and lobster.


Spearfishing requires skill in freediving and underwater hunting and both skills benefit from practise. The physical activity can combine with club and other competitions to make it a socially engaged sport.


By unloading the speargun it’s also easy for a spearfisher to switch to being a freediver and enjoy the underwater environment in the same unobtrusive way as other spectators: we aren’t locked-in to ‘going fishing’ to enjoy time in the water.


The Geelong Freedivers (GFD) course fills a niche at the first stages of your spearfishing journey. The course has a prerequisite that you be a competent swimmer and from that foundation we introduce you to the sport of Freediving. We then take you through the theory and skills required to lead your own spear fishing activities and safely enjoy being a member of the fishing community in Victoria.

  • We will answer the FAQ of how to select snorkelling and spearfishing equipment.
  • We will show you how to go freediving underwater for long enough and deep enough to seek fish for sightseeing or food.
  • We will show you how to spearfish in Victoria without becoming an accident statistic or run afoul of the authorities.

The course starts with some theory around snorkeling and spearfishing, and provides an opportunity to practise firstly in a pool then the ocean.