First Catch Your Fish
History of fishing the most powerful trawler was able to pull big nets. Reserved for the wealthy classes in the 18th century, became more accessible as define technological advances enabled better equipment to produced at a lower cost.
It seems that our Neolithic ancestors had a taste for shellfish and more particularly the native oyster Ostrea adults. We may take this as an indication of impeccable food taste it is thought that this sea format larder was instrumental in man’s transition from hunter to the farmer.
I Like This Idea of Your Fish
These mounds known as shell maddens have provoked an intense debate among archaeologists. There are some who go for the wretched miserable ancestor theory which roughly proposes that things were so grim that them.
The problem with shellfish is that they are in nutritional terms too insubstantial to sustain hardworking hunting people in serious business if survival.
This very practical consideration explains why for instance the unlit (Eskimos) did not traditionally eat a lot of fish. And would not do so today if they hadn’t had up their nomadic way of life.
Mornings hunting for seal could bring meat fat skin and bone which were of far greater nutritional and practical use than a measly cold. Our own ancestors took another route.
Farming the land increased the food available and oysters and fish both tapped in rock pools and caught from primitive boats helped provide a fairly easy calorie or two.
As boat building became more refined hand lining and drift netting were use more frequently and we even have records stretching right back to the fourteenth century of the beginning of one of the fishing industries’ most intractable problems.
The conflict between the trawls and drift netters.
Our appetite for fish really took off in the Middle Ages when the church decreed that good Christians should eat fish on Fridays and fast days.
Christianity attached great importance to the effect that food had on the body and soul. They became the proper food to induce reflection and spirituality. The demand from willing Christians presented a problem for fresh fish that was scarce inland.
Castles manor houses and monasteries had their own fish ponds full of freshwater bread trot or pike and often comptroller the local fish traps and weirs as well.
The kings of England even had a network of hunting lodges with fish ponds attached. But the poor had to look elsewhere for their supplies. Usually cod or herring found In great numbers around the coasts of Europe.
These fish preserving techniques had been using for generations. During the declining days of the Roman Empire, Viking traders were to see in the Mediterranean bringing fur and amber to the wealthy ports of Venice and Genoa.
A cold desiccating wind blows throughout much of the year and just as winter is at its harshest did conveniently come to spawn in huge numbers off the Norwegian coast.
Norway lacked grain but had fish in plenty so shade between the north and the south initially controlled by the powerful north German Hanseatic League supplied the north with wheat and the south with fish. The Hans also mined salt and began to supply the Norwegians with enough to salt their cod.
Which was more to the taste of their southern customers than their somewhat indigestible dried fish?
This was the beginning of an extraordinary link between the cold fish rich north and the southern Mediterranean as the Hanseatic League declined during the sixteenth century.
Salt from the natural pans of Liberia found a ready market with the salt cod producers far up north. The big break on the cold front though came with John Cabot’s discovery in 1497 of the cold green island of Newzealand,
The news soon filtered back to Europe. Portuguese Basques Normans and a few Bristolians set off to fish the cod and the grand banks’ fishery came into being. The conditions were perfect, cold, nutrient-rich water and a wide continental shelf.
The only problem was the distance between this new-found land and Europe. The solution once again lay with salt.
There were two options; firstly to salt the fish on oared and secondly to dry or salt it on the shore
The Portuguese Spanish and French had access to cheap domestic salt from their coastal salt pans son they tended to salt the fish on board and finis on board and finish to off on land back home.
Cod from America both salted and dried came flooding into Europe upsetting the home-based fisheries.
In 1506 the Portuguese king slapped a 10 percent duty on all cod from America and in 1542 Henry forbade the purchase of cod from foreigners, to encourage the English fleet to take advantage of what was an extremely lucrative fishery.
By the end of the century, the English presence in Newfoundland was as strong, if not stronger than that of the Portuguese who were the first to develop the fishery in a big way.
The English connection with Newfoundland has had a more lasting impact for unlike the Spanish and Portuguese they needed the land to process the cod. Every year, more settlers sailed out with the fleet shipwrights,
merchants and opportunists set tied in the harbors’ and spent the winters on the island. The fishing fleet became extremely important to the cows.
Not only did it provide the monarch with sailors and navigators of great skill but it also employed thousands of people. (See details information on all vegetable soup)
Queen Elizabeth, I tried to make both Wednesday and Saturday fast days in order to mayneteine fishermen
During the reformation fish consumption in Britain dropped. With the church’s reduced influence people preferred eating meat which was more readily available.
Charles ll tried in vain to present the fish trade from collapse. In 1677 amid much fanfare, he sat up the royal fishery company, bat this noble attempt came to nothing.
Pickled salmon and oysters, as well as salt fish, had fed the working classes for generations but fresh fish had always remained a luxury that they simply couldn’t afford.
Fish and chip shops or chippies, appeared in all the major towns and cities of Britain.
While costermongers continued to buy huge amounts of dubious quality fish at the Friday market at Billingsgate. Then he sold it to a friend in the streets of London. It wasn’t until the advent of the railway that fresh fish became more widely available.
Violent disputes broke out between the seiners and the drift ratters but seining was highly profitable and here to stay. It produced a momentous report long in the making and typically Victorian in spirit.
One of the royal commissioners, the Victorian scientist t. h. Huxley became a vociferous spokesman for liberating all fisheries from any control whatsoever. Every legislative restriction; he told the audience at the opening to the International fisheries exhibition in 1883 means that a simple man of.
The people earning a scanty livelihood by hard toil heal be liable to fine and imprisonment for doing that which he and his father’s before him have been free to do.
The fishing fleet entered into this free for all with gusto. Steam trawlers replaced sailboats and hull and Grimsby became the premier fishing ports of Britain. Many had assumed that was god’s gift to man and were available in infinite supply.
Fishermen knew better and as stocks diminished they had to dial further afield to catch their cod.
And so the distant water fleet came into being. Based again in the hull and Grimsby huge treeless regularly seamed towards the far northern fisheries off the fairies and Iceland.
By the 1970s catches were declining rapidly, and when Iceland got tough, refusing to allow the fleet access to the fishing grounds, the resultants cod war sounded the death knell for the distant water fleet.
The common fisheries policy (CFP) was from a British point of view a stitch-up but, however you look at it, there is a fundamental problem in that there are simply too many boats fishing too few fish.
The longer this owner capacity continues the worse the situating will become. But quite how one reduces the fishing cohort as it is called is unclear. Laws may be fine in theory mesh sizes and fishing is a vital sense of cooperation.
At present too much of the fish capital is being eaten into the interest went a long time ago. But what can be done?
It is for example technically possible to make fishing more selective. Nets can be fitted with special panels to allow juvenile fish to escape.
Long lines can be made less destructive to sea birds. Turtle excluding devices. Whale and dolphin warning devices all exist, the nut must be combined with an overall policy that is effective relevant and applicable.
Recently a new idea has come to the attention of the fishing industry which may provide a way forward. The WWF (World wildlife fund for nature) and unlevel have come together to form the marine stewardship council (MSC).
The idea is that the MSC will allow fish and tosh products from a sustainable, well-managed fishery to bed a logo that the consumer will recognize.
Suppliers and producers would then have to prove that their products are up to scratch before the potentially awesome force of the consumer moves into action. It is an attractive idea so far no one else has managed to make this work. Perhaps you. The consumer will.
The Bad News
The FAO report that 70 percent of the world’s commercially important marine stocks are fully fished, overexploited, depleted or slowly recovering.
Worldwide, governments pay an estimated 54 billion per year in fisheries subsidies’ to an industry that catches only 70 billion worth of fish.
Contemporary fishing practices kill and waste 18-40 million tonnes of unwanted fish. Seabirds, sea turtles, marine mammals, and other ocean life annually – one – third of the total world catch.
The Good News
People who eat a high level of fish tend to cove longer the Japanese for example, they have the lowest level of heart disease in the industrialized world, and their fish consumption is one of the highest.
All fish, but particularly fatty fish such as mackerel and tuna, are a good source of omega 3 fatty acids. These polyunsaturated fats make the blood less likely to clot, so people who eat fatty fish regularly have a lower risk of heart attacks.
If you have had the misfortune to have one anyway, you should starry eating fish, even cans of sardines’, as soon as possible. A diet him omega 3 will sigmofocamt; decrease upper chances of an ammeter heart attack. So an oily fish diet is definitely to be recommended. In the book, fish that are rich in omega 3 has been marked with a,
What Is A Fish?
All manner of creatures can be found swimming in the seas and rivers of the world; flatfish, fish and seafood, fat fish, carnivores, lethal fish, transparent fish, creatures with eight arms, and some with ten legs.
Tread on the stonefish, leucanthus horrid us, and it can kill you, while the charming candor, a small Amazonian catfish can swim up a sternum of urine and ledge itself in your urethra. But most of the fish that concern us here are homely, everyday folk; the haddocks, Pollack’s and lings’ of this world.
Fish do everyday things such as sleep (a parrotfish constructs a nest of mucus as it goes to bed each night) and I have read that sharks fart to alter their natural buoyancy.
The sea in sent Piute the peaceful haven you might have imagined
Apart from these shameless sharks, you may come across singing whales and grunting fish. Yes, you’ve guessed it they croak. Structurally, fish are fairly uniform. Being both surrounded and supported by must muscle tissue, which is rich in protein, a vascular system;
A swim bladder that controls buoyancy; and a two-chambered heart with blood like ours, which transports oxygen to muscle tissue.
A fish’s blood flows more slowly than our own and since it would be very expensive to heat in fish terms, it tends to be nearer the temperature to the surrounding water. This is why fish are basically cold blinded. However, it is not as polite as simple as that.
Some species of tuna, for example, have a body temperature higher than the water which as we will see presents the buyer with particular difficulties’. Fish are mostly flat or round, with either a bony or a cartilaginous skeleton.
Flaky fish, with their eyes stuck firmly on top of their heads, often sit indolently on the sea bed, eating the odd creature that passes by.
Fast-twitch fibers’ which enable them to move rapidly in pursuit of prey. But these short Hurst’s of energy, however intense, are just about all they can manage.
Ling distance swimmers bullet-shaped, super-fast fish such as mackerel and tuna have redder, fattier flesh which contrasts starkly with the flat fish’s virginal whiteness, and they can swim for much longer at a sustained high speed.
This redness of the flesh comes not from blood as one might imagine but from a substance called myoglobin found in the muscle tissue.
This store’s vital oxygen enabling the fish to convert its reserves of fat into energy.
The structure of these muscles is important. When you cook a fish you can usually see that the meat falls into Piute clear sections of flakes.
These flakes are simply nocks of muscle tissue which is a live fish contract in a sort of syncopated rhythm right align the length for the fish like a piscine Mexican wave, causing it to swim.
A fish has a brain, a sense of smell, and a network of direction finding, pressure-sensitive channels running along the side of its body. These scales serve a dual purpose. Firstly they protect the body and secondly, they help continually draw out water from the fish.
In the sea, a fish has a lower salt level than the surrounding water so it has to increase its salt level to prevent dehydration caused by water bending drawn out. This is why bony sea fish continually drink seawater retaining much of the salt.
Cartilaginous fish, such as rays and sharks, have come up with a different solution and actively retain salts from within. When you buy a fish, you may be amazed by the variety of color on the skin. Brighter, brilliantly colored fish tend to come from warmer waters, areas rich in colorful seaweeds or coral reefs fish.
Some of these fish are herbivorous and tasteless pronounced than their meat mixer ending cousins. Others such as the superb multicolored groupers are definitely carnivorous, and the mesmerizing mahi-mahi is no vegan.
Colour, of course, is also used to attract a mate the male Coho salmon changes skin color dramatically as it swims upstream during the spawning season, becoming quite a lurid shade of red. A surprising number of deepwater fish are also red, due to the properties of light at these murky depths.
Which actually makes red seem blue and so acts as a sort of camouflage.
Carnivorous hunting fish are positive dullards by comparison. Blending in with the background silver blue of the sea is critical for them so a silvery underbelly and dark blue top are almost de rigueur.
Such dullness is relative.
A live tuna has an exquisite blue sheen on its upper side and gloriously mottled silver underbelly colors that meld perfectly when looked at from above or below.
It is a transient beauty, fading fast when the fish dies, but you can gutty some idea of it by visiting an aquarium or better still, by diving to see the fish in their purest natural state. (See details fish bones)
Fish, of course, are not the sole inhabitants of the sea. There are amazing mollusks that include single shell gastropods.
Bivalves such as oysters and clams and the most extraordinary of all, the geniuses of the sea whose prehistoric appearance belies a remarkable level of sophistication and intelligence.
Below sea fish in an evolutionary sense, ranges a whole load of increasingly minuscule creatures that constitute the complex network known as the marine ecosystem.
Their zooplankton tends to avoid sunlight.
And come to the surface at night, as do the creatures who live of them, which is one reason why so much fishing dines at night. There are also a few faces around the world where currents well up from the deep providing the phytoplankton with another rich source of food.
So coastal zones and these upwelling areas are the richest places of all for fishing. Around the Arctic as the days lengthen and the temperature rises, a spring plankton bloom kick starts the system into frenetic activity.
Cod and other fish spawn in these warmer nutrient-rich waters feeding off the fish that feed off the zooplankton, which in turn feed off the phytoplankton.
The beach bums idyll of crystal clear warm water is not as rich an area for fish as there rather more inhospitable cold water seas. Heat causes a thermocline barrier in the water.
Above which phytoplankton are quickly used up and where there is a little interchange between the lower and upper levels of water.
The thermocline can work nearer home, too
On summer days when the sun shines and the wind blows feebly, fishing boats don’t always come back with nets bursting (and this has nothing to do with the Spanish).
As the water becomes cold again, and vital nutrients are stirred up by gales and currents the stem fares much better. Some fish travel enormous distances to follow seasonal variations in the food supply.
The adult European eel leaves freshwater in the autumn to travel the 300 odd miles to the Sargasso Sea (in the Atlantic) to spawn. Items at first to be a most peculiar thing for a fish to do, but the Sargasso is particularly rich in seaweed and provides an excellent basis for this eel love pearl.
Newborn elvers set out to swim back to the rivers their parents inhabited, a journey that takes them there years to complete. Somehow they make it swimming and riding the ocean currents a remarkable feat for such apparently insignificant, minuscule fish.
Pelagic fish, which live on or near the surface, also follow the ocean’s currents. Herring and mackerel are pelagic, fatty, and fast-moving fish that often congregate in huge shoals in the upper levels of the sea.
The dynamics of a shoal of fish are fascinating. Recent research has shown that the mesmerizing syncopated movement of a shoal of anchovies relies on each fish looking at the angle of the scales on the later line of the other and reacting accordingly.
This weaving ducking and diving of thousands of fish almost simultaneously is one of the most captivating sights under the water.
Demurrals fish live in or near the bottom of the sea
They include cod and haddock as well as all the flatfish. One way of telling how a fish feed is to see whether they have barbells under their chins as for example, cod do.
Further down in the deepest depths of the ocean there is a mysterious world that remains largely unexplored. Although there are a few fish living this far down, some species, such as orange roughy and grenadier.