I known fishing was pretty popular in the middle-age.

But I don't know how many people could be fed by a single fisher?

I'd like to know it mostly for river fishing but I'm also interested by sea fishing. I'm thinking about small villages with local fishing to ensure food supply.


  • Period: Early Middle age
  • Location: Small isolated village (~250 people)
  • Environment: Large river with plenty of fish

I'm looking for an average number (don't take in account the competition factor).

  • 7
    This would certainly depend on the quality of the fishery versus the number of competing fisherman and technology (and by extension time period/location). – Semaphore Jul 10 '15 at 8:48
  • 1
    Geography? Culture and food habits play an important role. In "watery" regions more fish would be eaten. Would this not be a supply side determinant? – Rajib Jul 10 '15 at 16:25
  • It's fairly easy to make a fish trap and various parts of the world have independently invented a dozen different ways of trapping food in rivers and the sea. As heavily wooded as Europe was and being the only continent without a desert, most people had ready access to a source of running water or a large body of water wherein they could trap fish. – Paul Rowe Jul 10 '15 at 18:46
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    From what I have been told of the 1900's and 1910's in the Pyrenees (traditional society with little contact to the outside world) diet was not based on, but complemented by fishing. In the MA, for religious reasons fish was a necessary part of the diet (Fridays, Lent...). But the basic diet seems to have been based on agriculture (grain, replaced by potatoes in the XVI-XVII centuries), with fishing as a complement specifically for protein since little meat was available to large strata of society. – ALAN WARD Jul 11 '15 at 10:29
  • 1
    I believe that competition between fishermen begins when the number exceeds 1. – Mark C. Wallace Jul 13 '15 at 10:37

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