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A Beginner's Guide to Fishing: History, Types, and More

Fishing is the activity of catching fish and other aquatic animals. For the record, it doesn't include catching marine mammals such as whales and catching fish in fish farms.

The History of Fishing

The history of fishing can be traced back to the Upper Palaeolithic age about 40,000 years ago. This is evident from the isotopic analysis of skeletal remains and, most importantly, archaeology (cave paintings, shell middens, and fish bones).

Types of Fishing

There are three facets of fishing:

  • Traditional fishing - This sector encompasses people who are associated with fisheries resources as part of their long culture, for example, the aboriginal people.
  • Commercial fishing - As the name suggests, this is the activity of catching fish, in small or large scale for commercial purposes.
  • Recreational fishing - This involves the use of fisheries resources for recreational purposes. A good example is sport fishing, which today is a multibillion industry.

Fishing Techniques

Besides the types of fishing, it's essential to understand the different fishing techniques, which include hand gathering, netting, spearfishing, angling and trapping. Today, large fishing companies use advanced fishing methods, including the deployment of sonar to locate fish.

UK Fishing Industry

The commercial fishing and seafood industry, in general, is one of the booming businesses with a House of Commons research library report indicating that the UK fishing industry contributes over 1.4 billion pounds annually. Interestingly, fishing is a contentious issue during the Brexit debate.

Sustainability

With over 1 billion people globally depending on fishing as the sole source of animal protein, there are sustainability concerns which cut across different areas including overfishing, by-catch, marine pollution, and even fish farming.