Anibal might not have been born on Cozumel Island, but he is what we would call a cozumeleño (someone from Cozumel) through and through.
Having worked with Spearfishing Today for the last five years, he not only guides the spearfishing charters but also captains the ships.
Reserved yet highly affable, Anibal is one of the main reasons that Spearfishing Today is what it is, ehm, today.
We took advantage of a break on a recent freediving certification to talk about all things Cozumel, spearfishing, and family.
Our Cozumel Spearfishing Guide: Anibal
How long have you been working with Spearfishing Today?
It’s been almost six years already.
How did it all begin?
A friend asked me if I was interested in getting into freediving. I said yes, we had a meeting, and here we are today.
How would you describe your relationship with the sea?
I think the sea is something for which I owe everything. I’ve worked at sea since I was a kid, and I feel blessed to be here and guiding our Cozumel spearfishing charters.
Were you born in Cozumel?
No, I wasn’t born here, but I have been living on Cozumel Island for almost 28 years.
What has the island given you?
The island has given me everything. Friends, family, a home, clothing, food. Everything.
How long have you been practicing spearfishing?
Well, I’ve been spearing fish from shore since I was a kid. But as a professional, I would say for the last ten years or so.
Do you remember the first fish you speared?
Yes, it was a Mexican sierra. At least it was the first I liked. For the first few months, I practiced apnea and shooting until the moment arrived when a fish passed in front of me and I had the opportunity to shoot it. And I did!
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
First and foremost is safety. Never try to go spearfishing alone, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. Because even though it’s a very noble activity, it’s also something that comes with certain risks, and if you don’t follow the rules as you should then something could go wrong.
What draws you to spearfishing?
I am drawn by the challenge that there are a lot of things that we think that we can’t do, but the very risk of it all makes you strive to do even better.
The philosophy of Spearfishing Today is From Sea to Table. What does that mean to you?
It’s about trying to fish for our own food and trying to always take care of the environment by being conscious of the quality, quantity, and size of the fish we hunt.
When you’re alone on the boat, what do you think about?
I think about a lot of things. I think about my family, about the people who are underwater, their safety, what they might catch, in everything.
What’s something that we people should know about you?
I always try to be as sincere s possible. I try and be a good example for my peers and colleagues in terms of spearfishing by having a good attitude and treating both our clients and our colleagues as friends.
If you could ask one person out to dinner, who would it be?