View Full Version : Study Unlocks History of the Seas

Sunday, May 24th, 2009, 11:30 PM
Source: BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8058351.stm) (5-24-09)
Medieval fishermen first took to the open seas in about AD1,000 as a result of a sharp decline in large freshwater fish, scientists have suggested.

They say the decline was probably the result of rising population and pollution levels.

The study forms part of a series that examines the impact of humans on life beneath the waves throughout history.

The findings will be presented at a Census of Marine Life (CoML) conference in Canada, which begins on Tuesday.

More... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8058351.stm)

Hauke Haien
Monday, May 25th, 2009, 12:45 AM
We can also see this in the middens found on Orkney, where it correlates with the activity of Norwegians there. Skeletal evidence does not indicate an increase in the consumption of fish, although the middens certainly do. This points towards a trade with dried and salted fish, feeding centers of trade and commercial production located elsewhere in the North Sea, Jórvík being an example.

In the Hebrides, there is evidence of substantial fishing of Atlantic herring, which in itself requires a great deal of organisation and suggests the intention to trade it.

So, I would say the reason for this shift is increased demand and the organisational ability to exploit the economic opportunity, with a reduced availability of freshwater fish possibly making it even more lucrative.