Fishing is a very ancient practice that dates back to approximately 10,000 years ago. During those times, oceans, lakes and rivers were considered “hunting areas” where humans caught fish and other food resources to survive. Boats, fishing instruments, and tools became more sophisticated as humans evolved and with them their food gathering process. By the first millennium B.C., fishing had turned out to be one of the primary activities of the coastal populations around the world. In fact, according to recent discoveries, learning to live from the products of the sea may have played a key role in the expansion and establishment of new human settlements in different parts of the planet.
Today, in the 21st Century, fisheries are still a very important source of livelihood and sustainable development, especially in coastal areas with low rainfall, degradable land, and drought conditions. For these communities, fish and fisheries are a major area of employment, income and food, fish having become the cheapest and most substantive source of animal protein available. But this is probably one of the most dangerous occupation in the world. Fatality and injury rates are extremely high, compared to other professions. Accidents often result from inadequately equipped fishermen choosing to work further away from the shore because their traditional fishing grounds have become overexploited.
There are still thousands of communities around the world whose basic subsistence depends on fisheries. Unfortunately large-scale industrial and non-selective over fishing have ravaged many of those areas, contributing to progressive impoverishment and consequent starvation of their populations.