Prehistoric Fisheries Offer Clues to Sustainable Catch
Source: New Scientist
March 23, 2012
"Efforts to reform fisheries in the present just got a boost from the past. Two quantitative studies of prehistoric fisheries show that some early cultures figured out how to get high yields without overexploitation.
Jack Kittinger of the University of Hawaii in Honolulu and Loren McClenachan of Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Vancouver, Canada, studied the reef fisheries in Hawaii since the islands were first colonised 700 years ago.
With little archaeological evidence of farming, the earliest Hawaiians were reliant on the sea for much of their food. Previous estimates suggest they each consumed about 182.5 kilograms of seafood per year - similar to levels in Pacific island countries which rely on seafood today. Kittinger and McClenachan worked out the total annual catch, assuming a conservative estimate that Hawaiian population reached 160,000 before contact with European settlers. It is thought that the population was probably more like 250,000 at its pre-settler peak."
To read the full text of the article, click here.