October 6, 2015

1942 FRANCE (New Caledonia) - Spearfishing on the island of Maré

Spearfishing is an ancient method of fishing (maybe the first) that has been used throughout the world for millennia. One could say that it is the most selective fishing method, because uses no bait and has no by-catch. It may be conducted with an ordinary spear or a specialised variant such as an eel spear. Today modern spearfishing makes use of elastic powered spearguns and slings, or compressed gas pneumatic powered spearguns, to strike the hunted fish.

In New Caledonia, the spearfishing (in French: peche a la sagaie) with a hand held spear from land, in calm and shallow waters, is a traditional fishing method, used even today. The fisherman must account for optical refraction at the water's surface, which makes fish appear higher in their line of sight than they are. By experience, he learns to aim lower. Often, the fishermen jump from the coral reefs surrounding the islands, as can be seen in the postcard.

About the stamp
It is a prepaid postcard.

Spearfishing - Wikipedia
The one that didn't get away: Incredible athleticism of spear fishermen caught in mid-flight - Daily Mail online

Sender: Philatelic Bureau of New Caledonia
Sent from Nouméa (Grande Terre / New Caledonia), on 24.07.2014
Photo: Stéphane Ducandas

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