Monday, June 25, 2018
The activity of trying to catch fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild, through “capture.” Wild fishing, as it is called, exists in the oceans; in game terms, any hex with a coastal village will produce at least enough fish to support the village. Large stocks of fish occur at places upon continental shelves, accessed by large boats that may travel ocean-wide distances to reach such places. In the time of the world, no over-fishing has occurred.
Fish stocks are affected by water temperature, ocean currents, river estuaries, distance from the coast, presence of coral reefs, ocean rises and seamounts. Oceanic gyres, or upwellings, can transport nutrients to the surface so that rich feeding grounds are created. Most small-boat fishing occurs along rivers and near estuaries, lagoons, intertidal zones on the ocean coast and littoral zones on lakes. Except in hunting whales, most remaining parts of the ocean (the open sea) are impractical to fishing cultures.
Techniques include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping. There is an intricate link between various fishing techniques and knowledge about fish. Fishing folklore has produced a great many theories about how fishing is accomplished and stories of what has happened to fishing folk.
Characters with a fishing background should possess the following bonus skills: fishing sage ability; +1 with spear to hit; use of net as a bonus weapon proficiency. Fishing enables the capture of saltwater and freshwater fish, shellfish, fish fins, seaweed and sponges. These are products themselves and are related to a wide number of byproducts and services.
Examples include basket-making for fish traps, spinning and knitting to produce nets, making of hooks and other tools, and finally boatbuilding. Much fish that’s caught is never marketed and is therefore not a part of the economy; it is fish caught solely to maintain the livelihood of the fishing home or village.
The most successful fishing boat known to date is the dogger, a two-masted ketch gaff-rigged on the main-mast, carrying a lug sail on the mizzen, with two jibs on a long bowsprit. Early forms of the boat have only one mast. They typically displaced 13 tons, carried a ton of bait, three tons of salt, half a ton of food and firewood for the crew. Around six tons of fish could be carried besides this. The dogger was about 50 feet long and had a beam of 14 feet, with a draught of five feet. The dogger also carried a small open oat to maintain the lines and row ashore. Doggers were slow and sturdy.
Less advanced fishing is practiced in undecked fishing boats that are paddled or driven by sails that can be operated by a single person. Most boats like this are suitable only for use near and in sight of the shoreline. Sails are animal skins or woven fabrics; the mast is little more than a pole set upright in the boat. Shapes and styles differ by cultures and environment, including canoes, dugout canoes, rafts, reed boats, coracles, kayaks, catamarans and vakas.
Commercial fishermen usually trade through a fishmonger, who buys fish cheap and then sells or transports it to markets. Fishmongers possess a monopoly on this trade, as a guild, in most parts of the world.