Event Title

Material Technology As An Indicator of Past Species Size.

Presentation Abstract

Archaeological materials can provide data useful for modern conservation and resource management efforts. Zooarchaeological materials (animal bones) have been used to provide information about past species distributions as well as their characteristics. I am interested in using the material technology of prehistoric resource harvesting to provide information about species in the past.

In this poster I will discuss my preliminary research regarding the use of traditional halibut fishing technology to recreate the size of fish being caught in the past. Northwest coast halibut hooks are said to have been size selective, only catching certain sized fish. The size of fish caught is moderated by the size of the hook as well as the size and angle of the barb. My findings at this stage of the project suggest a very small deviation in lip gap size between different hook styles from different areas. This suggests that these hooks were crafted to catch halibut of a similar size.

These findings are significant because there is ambiguity in the archaeology of the region about the importance of halibut in past subsistence systems. Anthropological evidence points to the importance of this species as a food source for many different groups. However, archaeological research has only been able to provide evidence of minimal utilization. Pacific Halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) are some of the largest fish in the North Pacific Ocean. They can grow to be over 2.7 m in length and can weight up to 300 kg. Because of the possibility for such large specimens, gaining a clearer picture of the size of fish caught in the past will help to reveal its importance in past subsistence systems. Furthermore, since the beginning of modern fisheries, halibut size has been declining. Data about the size of halibut prior to industrial fishing could be useful for species management efforts.

Session Title

Integrating Social Science into Ecosystem-Based Management

Conference Track

People

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2016 : Vancouver, B.C.)

Document Type

Event

Location

2016SSEC

Type of Presentation

Poster

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Comments

I got my BA from McGill and I am starting a MA program at UVic in the fall.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Material Technology As An Indicator of Past Species Size.

2016SSEC

Archaeological materials can provide data useful for modern conservation and resource management efforts. Zooarchaeological materials (animal bones) have been used to provide information about past species distributions as well as their characteristics. I am interested in using the material technology of prehistoric resource harvesting to provide information about species in the past.

In this poster I will discuss my preliminary research regarding the use of traditional halibut fishing technology to recreate the size of fish being caught in the past. Northwest coast halibut hooks are said to have been size selective, only catching certain sized fish. The size of fish caught is moderated by the size of the hook as well as the size and angle of the barb. My findings at this stage of the project suggest a very small deviation in lip gap size between different hook styles from different areas. This suggests that these hooks were crafted to catch halibut of a similar size.

These findings are significant because there is ambiguity in the archaeology of the region about the importance of halibut in past subsistence systems. Anthropological evidence points to the importance of this species as a food source for many different groups. However, archaeological research has only been able to provide evidence of minimal utilization. Pacific Halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepis) are some of the largest fish in the North Pacific Ocean. They can grow to be over 2.7 m in length and can weight up to 300 kg. Because of the possibility for such large specimens, gaining a clearer picture of the size of fish caught in the past will help to reveal its importance in past subsistence systems. Furthermore, since the beginning of modern fisheries, halibut size has been declining. Data about the size of halibut prior to industrial fishing could be useful for species management efforts.