Spearfishing is an ancient method of fishing that has been used throughout history. Early civilizations spearfished using sharpened sticks. Today modern spearfishing uses elastic powered spearguns and slings, or compressed gas pneumatic powered spearguns, to strike the hunted fish.
Spearfishing may be done using free-diving, snorkeling, or scuba diving techniques. Spearfishing while using scuba equipment is illegal in some countries. The use of mechanically powered spearguns is also outlawed in some countries and jurisdictions. Spearfishing is highly selective, normally uses no bait and has no by-catch.