Fishing is a widespread job occupation and means of survival for many. It is also one of the most popular recreational activities. Many people wonder how fishing originated and what the purpose behind it was. Fishing is basically an activity that involves hunting for fish and trying to catch them. It is a native practice used by many ancient tribes worldwide. Each tribe had its own techniques and traditions regarding this activity and different motives. Nowadays, fishing is less of a traditional practice and more of a sport. If you live in a place near the sea, fishing would be your prime source of outdoor entertainment. Not only do fishermen make a living out of this sport, but so do fishing tournament organizers.
The question that comes to the mind of many is that of the origins of fishing. The advent of fishing can be traced back to the Mesolithic period which dates about 10,000 years back. Archaeological findings, discarded fish bones and cave paintings were evidence enough to conclude that sea food was one of the primary means of survival and was consumed in large quantities during that era. Some speculate that fishing may even date back to before the development of modern humans, but this has not been confirmed yet. The River Nile was the center of fishing activity. There were numerous methods used for fishing in the early times which are conspicuously illustrated in tomb scenes and drawings discovered within Egyptian tombs. By the start of the 12th dynasty, metal hooks with bards were being used to catch fish. The most important fish at the time were the Nile perch, eels and catfish. Some depictions that point towards fishing being used as a pastime were also found.
Ancient Greek culture does not contain many illustrations of fishing scenes, which implies that fishing occupied a low social status during that time. There are pictures of Roman fishing from mosaics which represent fishing with rods, lines and nets, from boats. The Greek-Roman sea God Neptune is also depicted holding a fishing spear. Neptune has also been labeled as the God of fishing.
References to fishing can also be found in some ancient literature. Even the Bible contains some references to this ancient activity. An instance of this is Job 41:7 “Canst thou fill his skin with barbed irons? Or his head with fish spears?” This book is available to date and contains the various techniques used for fishing. He has described fishing with a “motionless net” in a very intriguing manner. He says that the fishers use nets of buoyant flax and move in a circle while hitting the sea surface with their oars. Hence, the origins of fishing are appalling for many. The significance of fishing, undoubtedly, remains to date, with many of the ancient methods and techniques still in place.