Ancient Humans Knew Sustainable Fishing

Published on June 1st, 2009 | by Admin


According to new research, early humans living off the coast of California may have been farming the ocean.

They found that while people were harvesting millions of shellfish annually from the local kelp forest ecosystem, shell sizes remained relatively stable even as the local population grew and became more technologically advanced.

The trend suggests Channel Island settlers may have been the first to work out a sustainable form of fishing. When certain areas became depleted, they simply moved to another, effectively imposing a “no-take zone” in the old fishing grounds. And when harvests dwindled throughout the region, they switched to hunting and eating otters until shellfish numbers recovered.

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One Response to Ancient Humans Knew Sustainable Fishing

  1. Dennis says:

    It could also be that they used filter-nets to capture only the larger portioned shell fish. The preservation and sustainability factor could have been a simple by product.

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