Historical anecdotes of fishing pressure: Misconstrued “sea serpent” sightings provide evidence for antecedent entanglement of marine biota in the British Isles

Catégorie : Impacts de la Pollution Plastique
Date :2 octobre 2020
France, Robert L.
Fish and Fisheries
Marine scholars have come to realize the importance of including historical perspectives as part of comprehensive assessments made of the social-ecological systems involved in sustainable fisheries management. In particular, there is increasing recognition of the value in examining information contained within historical anecdotes as a prelude to implementing current conservation actions as well as setting future restoration objectives. The present study demonstrates that careful parsing of eyewitness accounts of unidentified marine objects which at the time were purported to be sea serpents-of the “many-humped” or “string-of-buoys” typology-actually reveals that marine fauna in the British Isles have been victims of entanglement in fishing gear for a much longer period than is customarily assumed. The temporal baseline for the onset of entanglement in this region certainly predates, by more than a century, the advent and widespread use of plastic in fisheries and other maritime operations.