This research will be investigating on the utilization of sea life as the primary source of human consumption in areas bordered by sea. It will establish whether marine life is the only endemic source of food for people living in coastal areas, the various ways in which sea life exists and whether or not the sea has any relative significance in modulating the culture of the people living along coastal areas. In this research, “sea food” is not limited to the habitat “sea” per se but as a reference point for any product extracted from water bodies occupying substantial area on land. In this research, “marine” and “sea” will be used interchangeably to mean the same thing.
According to USGS Water science school, water occupies about 71 percent of the earth’s surface and about 96.5 percent of all earth’s water is held in oceans, a phenomenon which has rendered the earth to be called “blue earth” or “watery earth”. This reality has caused water bodies more so oceans that occupy 90% of earth’s total land area to be the largest habitat on earth, supporting a huge variety of life. Great a diversity there is, this life ranges from microscopic planktons to gigant...
ic humongous whales. WWF/OCEANS. Since water has the largest chunk of the surface of this planet, we only have little land left to support the billions of human and land wild life and competition for food and space has prompted human life to explore the marine habitat for a source of living, if not survival. By virtue of oceans being the largest habitat on earth, this has attracted other forms of life on earth to encamp around them and human beings are no exception. Since nature has to strike a balance, multiple food chains are developed within the ocean land ecosystem (Akintoba, 1996).
According to WWF/OCEANS, we have 21000 species of fish most of which live in oceans, sea anemones, sponges etc. on ocean floor and creatures of the deep, a combination that produces million tons of extract as meal for humans, either in raw or processed form. This research investigates the influence of water bodies’ categorically marine life on the eating culture and society of people living in coastal areas. In brief, the following aspects of this research will be investigated in detail.
- Historical developments and patterns seafood consumption
- Cultural beliefs and traditions
- Social impacts.
Anthropological viewpoint on consumption of marine food has been consistently used in this research. For instance, such a viewpoint will hint on the ‘inseparability of the material and the social processes involved’ (Croll, 2006). Seafood consumption in this regard then is not limited to the blatant act of procuring and consuming any given particular product, but about the broader social context of which consumption is entailed. Hence, from this ideological perspective, consumption is vastly defined as ‘the significant use mankind make of the matter that is affiliated to them. While anthropologists recognize that some needs have a material basis, they
stress the fact that need and demand reflect the ways objects facilitate social relationships and define social identities’ (Carrier, 1996).
Seafood harvesting and consumption are ancient practices that resonate back to almost 40,000years ago, the beginning of the Paleolithic period. In the year 177 to 180, a research done by a Greek author Oppian of Corycus in the coast and Greek islands established that fish consumption varied in accordance with household location and wealth status (Morley, 2013). Majorly, fresh fish and seafood were common. He further established that the fish were locally eaten but more often transported inland, funny enough some of the produce was traded for fare for the Athenian citizens. China is the leading market for a number of types of luxury seafood although much of the source of this seafood lies outside china. (Clarke et al., 2007). Japanese history in utilization of seafood dates back to the year 8th Century AD with “nare-zushi”, a Japanese meal of salted fish wrapped in fermented rice as the prevalent delicacy(Issenberg, 2007).
The Romans have also had a peculiar history in the use of seafood as articulated even their religious culture. The Greco-Roman sea god is depicted as wielding a fishing rod trident. Seafood in medieval Europe was not popular as compared to other continents. Fish and rice culture has been an esteemed heritage in Asia (South East) barely over 2000 years. (Gary D, Sharp) Fan-Li, Chinese based author, documented his first extensive article on fish consumption culture about 800 BCE in China. By late 1368 CE, the Ming Dynasty advocated for the introduction of fish farms to augment supply in the Live Fish markets, which to date have become prevalent in the fish sales of Chinese. Romans cultured oysters At Baia Rome; oysters have been cultured as early as 110BCE. Mussels, mackerel, oysters and diverse fish species are reared for distribution and dispersion to market centers and restaurants as significant constituents of every contemporary Italians’ dietetic and social life. Mid-17th century, G.O. Sars in Norway artificially propagated marine fish fry producing a vast quantity of fingerlings while also commissioning modern fish hatcheries with the central aim of supplementing the abased fish resources. Early 1860 the first salmon mills were developed on river Columbia, to furnish railroad workers and gold miners with a ready supply of cheap meals.
The US Fish Commission were established in 1871 under the leadership Spencer Baird with its core mandate being to rally and mobilize the American government to develop interest in fish culture. This endeavor was appraised and embraced in 1872 where a lump sum of $1700 was invested. The fish industry now having gained momentum, Stone Livingston (1872) undertook a massive fish egg collection and fertilization and about 30000 salmon eggs were transported by rail for inoculation and fertilization, unfortunately only 700 surviving to fingerling size. These that managed to survive were released in river Susquehanna. The trend here shows that fish consumption had gained popularity. (Gary D, Sharp).
Not much has been researched on the African culture and interest towards seafood but statistics will bail me out that all communities living beside fresh water lakes and the
- Fast Food
- Genetically Modified Food
- Organic Food
- fruits and vegetables
- Chewing gum
- Food Waste
- Energy Drink
- Non Alcoholic Beverages
- Energy drinks