Historical uses of the ocean and shores: natural resources and patterns of exploitation

Cristina Brito (NOVA/UAc)
Nina Vieira (Universidade Nova de Lisboa)
Bloco 1, Sala 0.08
Start time:
12 July, 2017 at 14:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

Molluscs, algae, fish and marine mammals are important resources as exchange currency, food items or instruments, and they were gathered, captured or hunted over time. Techniques and practices developed over the centuries that ultimately lead to the decimation of entire species or populations.

Long abstract:

Over time, humans have been using and exploiting the natural resources of seas and shores for their own convenience and profit. Molluscs, algae, fish and marine mammals, are an important source of resources ranging from exchange currency to food items as even to daily life instruments, and for that reason they have been gathered, captured or hunted. In the last centuries, the development of different techniques and new practices ultimately lead to the decimation of entire species or populations of marine and aquatic animals. The exploitation of such resources has conducted to the formation of new human communities, as well as to the establishment of patterns of migration and trading, both along continental shores and across oceanic basins. Offshore European and American fishing, whaling and sealing, overexploitation of tropical aquatic resources, all became important economic activities in modern oceans with severe impacts both in the ecology of marine ecosystems and in the human populations who relied on them. In this panel we welcome researchers dealing with modern marine environmental history, based on the principle that life beneath the oceans' surface can greatly contribute to the writing of human histories.