As a student of the Humanities… I just had to post this one!
By digging up and poring over old books and records of Mediterranean marine life, scientists have filled a 200-year gap in fish population data.
The data, generated from from naturalists’ accounts and fish market records published between 1818 and 2000, shows the clear decline of fishes in the Adriatic Sea (east of Italy) and provides a crucial baseline comparison for the ongoing collapse of today’s fisheries.
“The understanding of fish communities’ changes over the past centuries has important implications for conservation policy and marine resource management,” the authors wrote in a study published Nov. 17 in the journal PLoS ONE. Ignoring old records, they added, has led to a “historical myopia” in fishery science that underestimates the loss of natural resources.