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Study Looks Back at Ancient Sustainable Fisheries
By Angela Messina, March 25, 2012 @ 02:38 PM (EST)
Source: ScienceDaily

In a new study, scientists are finding that we could learn a thing or two from ancient civilizations that had more effective methods of promoting fishery sustainability.

In the study, published in the journal Fish and Fisheries, scientists focused on the Hawaiian and Florida Keys fisheries, studying their fishery yields over the past 700 years. They focused on local management strategies that characterized times of better sustainability in each area.

The scientists were surprised by what they learned: "Before European contact, Native Hawaiians were catching fish at rates that far exceed what reefs currently provide society," says Jack K. Kittinger of Stanford University. This is largely due to the effective management strategies Hawaiians enforced during this time.

Floridian fisheries, on the hand, have been characterized by “boom and bust,” resulting in the depletion of many of its fisheries continuing on until today.

Loren McClenachan of Colby College and coauthor of the study says, "Incorporating some of these ancient techniques into today's policy may be the key to sustaining our fisheries."

Read more about this study in the ScienceDaily article.

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