PRehistoric fISheries assisTing marIne baseliNEs
Funding: European Commission
Program: Marie Sklodowska Actions, Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship
Postdoctoral fellow: Nayeli Jiménez Cano
Co-supervisor: Séverine Zirah (UMR 7245)
Public outreach and news: PRISTINE
Ensuring sustainable fisheries is one of the key issues to address the conservation of marine biodiversity and socio-economic development. Such approaches usually operate based on fisheries records from the last decades, which are proved to be inappropriate reference criteria for evaluating long-term impacts of fish exploitation whereas archaeological data is increasingly admitted as an essential source of information. One of the most severely threatened marine regions is the Indo-Pacific, which also holds a rich history of marine resources exploitation since, at least, the Neolithic. Specific taxonomical identification of Indo-Pacific fish remains is still a pending task mainly due to the high diversity of fishes exploited and to difficulties in species identification from morphological analysis. This situation impedes acquiring a deep understanding of the prehistoric fisheries and their impacts over time. Through the analyses of archaeological and modern fishes from the Indo-Pacific, PRISTINE will implement a back to the future approach to provide reliable ecological baselines and enhance our current understanding of fish exploitation from a long-term perspective by identifying and quantifying the range of fish species exploited dating back 5,000 years. To this aim, PRISTINE will apply cutting-edge proteomic methodologies to 1) develop a finger-print Collagen Reference Database of representative modern Indo-Pacific fishes, 2) obtain the taxonomical identification of Neolithic fish remains, and 3) achieve a long-term evaluation of Indo-Pacific fisheries. This research will contribute to attempts on the identification of healthy tropical reef fisheries and evaluation of anthropogenic impacts over time to assist in ensuring efforts to conserve the present and manage the future of marine scenarios.