“People in Ibiza call my father the engine doctor,” laughs Nic Schroth as he disappears under a hull at the family’s Marina Es Faralló yacht business in Santa Eulalia. Back when Nic was just one year old, his father Michael surprised his young family by announcing they were leaving their German home in Pforzheim to move to Ibiza. He wanted to live by the sea, and that was that.
“I was five when he first took me spearfishing – it was mesmerizing. He knew every secret corner of Ibiza and I would watch him dive into the blue and return moments later with a beautiful grouper or amberjack. I wasn’t allowed to join him in the water until I could load the speargun myself, though, so I would practise every day after school.”
The waters around Ibiza are also teeming with dentex, rotja, seabass and sea bream and while it is prohibited to fish in many areas without a licence, the sport is ever popular in the south of Ibiza and north of Cala Vicente all the way to San Antonio. But it’s not easy.
“There is a lot of equipment involved, which isn’t cheap,” admits Nic. “You also need to be fit and have a clear mind when you enter the water as we never use any breathing aids. Not only is it illegal, but we also want to be fair to the fish.”
Spearfishing is the most sustainable and ethical fishing method for many reasons. It has the most selective catch by species, size and quantity. It’s also the most environmentally friendly method, with no nets involved, no pollution and no harm inflicted on the underwater landscape.
“It is incredible to be able to disconnect your mind from our problematic world while also having amazing adventures. And nothing beats the feeling of being on the seabed and suddenly being surprised by a dolphin, turtle, shark or whale…”