Constantin Ardeleanu: ‘Fishing in the Lower Danube and Its Floodplain from the Earliest Times to the Twentieth Century’
New publication by Constantin Ardeleanu, ‘Fishing in the Lower Danube and Its Floodplain from the Earliest Times to the Twentieth Century’, in Tonnes Bekker-Nielsen and Ruthy Gertwagen (eds.), The Inland Seas. Towards an Ecohistory of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea (Geographica Historica 35), Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart, 2016.
This paper is an overview of fishing in the area of the Lower Danube, with a special focus on long-term developments and the early origins of current ‘ichthyologic genocide’ in the Danube Delta. The steady development of fishing gears and techniques and the continuous specialization of Danubian fishermen resulted in a constantly larger catch. This attracted to the area fish merchants from all over Europe, making salted fish and other fish products (especially caviar) a well-known merchandise on the fish markets from Ancient Greece, the Roman and Byzantine Empires, Genoa and Venice, Ottoman Istanbul, etc. Fishing and the fish trade proved a very profitable enterprise also for state authorities. In late 19th century, the state intended to protect these resources, when over-fishing endangered the aquatic species and the anthropological and ethnological diversity which made the Danube Delta a unique area.