Time-travelling fisheries scientists make startling discovery — ...

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Time-travelling fisheries scientists make startling discovery — on dry land

A treasure trove of old records shows what our ancestors put on their plates and how ecosystems have changed

Senior reporter

Fisheries scientists are calling it one of the catches of the century, not least because it happened on dry land.

A treasure trove of government fishing records uncovered in the state archives has lifted the veil on what fishing was like more than a century ago in SA’s fabled offshore fishing grounds. It has also allowed scientists to assess how much has changed by repeating the historic fishing surveys, then comparing the results.

To ensure accuracy, a scientific team travelled back in time to mimic their ancestors’ methods, including using the same nets, a similar trawler and surveying the same places, all thanks to fastidious record-keeping..

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