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Harvesting the SeaThe Exploitation of Marine Resources in the Roman Mediterranean$
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Annalisa Marzano

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199675623

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199675623.001.0001

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Fishing and Roman Law

Fishing and Roman Law

(p.234) (p.235) 8 Fishing and Roman Law
Harvesting the Sea

Annalisa Marzano

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the juridical status of the sea and explains the differences, from a legal standpoint, between the sea and internal bodies of water, such as lakes and lagoons. It discusses the idea that the state could contract specific exploitation rights to the sea and shows that known cases of leases of fishing rights and of taxes ‘on fishing’ in fact refer to leases of fishing in lagoons and to custom dues on fish landed at harbours. The second part of the chapter analyses why legal sources report that maritime villa-owners often prevented fishermen from fishing in front of their properties. Such behaviour resulted from the competition between fishermen who wanted to access good fishing grounds and villa-owners who wanted to avoid disruptions to the restocking of their fishponds for fish farming.

Keywords:   sea, juridical status, fishing rights, tax on fish, fishermen, villa-owners, competition, natural resources

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