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Restaurant seafood prices since 1850s help plot marine harvests through history

e will show:

* How large harvests of the ling fish prior to 1914 allowed cod to dominate the North Sea, causing ecologists today to rethink models of the North Sea ecosystem;
* How cod stocks in the North Sea have declined in numbers and size based on records dating from the 1870s ?illuminating details of productivity in the North Sea 130 years ago;
* How archaeologists are documenting the diminishing size of North Sea fish between the years 1000 and 1500, a sure sign of over-fishing, but that such pressure on stocks was temporary. Even the most exploited species like cod and herring demonstrated ability to recover over time, with lessons for the recovery of such fishing grounds as the Gulf of Maine and Newfoundland, prolific until comparatively recently.

Other research to be showcased at the conference describes:

* How Imperial Rome developed a fish processing industry by smoking, drying, salting and using oil and different sauces to preserve fish. Their techniques spread outside the Empire and into the Northern Black Sea region, where large salting operations in the Crimea became a flourishing industry. A fish soup produced in huge open-air boileries was consumed in such large quantities by the Romans that they significantly reduced fish stocks in the Mediterranean;
* How 600 year-old Queen Conch shells from the Caribbean Sea reveal the decline in average size and age at harvest;
* The decline of coastal seas and estuaries in Europe, North America and Australia within 200-300 years of the intensification of fishing;
* Why the mighty Atlantic bluefin tuna has vanished from much of the Atlantic, where it once roamed from Brazil to the North Atlantic coasts, and why modern fishing practices and regulations are reducing the likelihood that bluefin tuna will recover;
* How thousands of what were once frighteningly referred to as "sea wolves" (Mediterranean monk seals) that fille
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Source:Census of Marine Life


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