Fish stocks in the United Kingdom virtually collapsed in the 20th century, with the amount of fish in British waters falling by 94 percent since 1889, according to a new study. So few fish remain in British waters that fishermen today would have to work 17 times harder than 118 years ago to catch the same amount of fish, according to the study, published in the journal Nature Communications. In 1910, even though most fishermen went to sea in sail-powered vessels, the UK fishing fleet caught four times as many fish as today, the study said. Relentless fishing pressure has not only decimated sticks, but bottom trawling also has badly damaged the sea floor habitat that supported thriving populations of fish such as cod, haddock, and plaice.
I have a hunch that fishing in North America in pre-contact times was very productive and bountiful. In England we see that sail technology in 1910 was bringing in 4 times as many fish as today, due to the abundance of resources. The use of newer technology is a race to the bottom if you’re depleting your fishing stock!