The Fishing Revolution and the Origins of Capitalism

Fishing is older than humanity. Fishing for sale rather than consumption developed along with the emergence of class-divided urban societies about five thousand years ago. Getting fish to towns and cities where people could not catch it themselves required organized systems for catching, cleaning, preserving, transporting, and marketing. This was particularly true in the Roman Empire, where serving fresh fish at meals was a status symbol for the rich, and fish preserved by salting was an essential source of protein for soldiers and the urban poor. In addition to boats, an extensive shore-based infrastructure was needed to provide fish for millions of citizens and enslaved people: “elaborate concrete vats and other remains of ancient fish-processing plants have been found all along the coasts of Sicily, North Africa, Spain, and even Brittany on the North Atlantic. The first surviving account of fish depletion caused by overfishing was written in Rome, about 100 CE. >click to read< 10:29

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