Which brings up another thought. There are two thoughts when we are spearfishing, attaching a fish to a buoy or attaching it to your waist. When I'm hunting calicos or reefies I'll string several fish on my waist using a simple mono stringer. When Im hunting yellowtail or white seabass I rarely use a stringer unless I'm shore diving and if I do then I swim right back to the boat or shore after getting my fish. A lot of this is due to sea lions going after bigger pelagics, they will show no hesitation on grabbing your fish and dragging you to the bottom. We don't have to worry about sharks grabbing our fish YET but that might change over the next few years.
When my buddies are swimming back to the boat, if there is a sea lion harassing them I always go right to them to chase it off and I would do whatever it takes to make sure they were safe.