European sturgeon fished into oblivion

1400s CEEurope

“Meanwhile, in the urbanizing western Europe of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, sturgeons were being slowly fished into oblivion, the meat avidly consumed, the roe discarded or fed to livestock. There was once so much sturgeon meat in Germany that certain room-and-board employment contract stipulated sturgeon be served no more than twice a week. When at last the numbers of European sturgeon, Acipenser sturio, began to dwindle, Europeans themselves forgot they had ever liked the fish.”

Richard Adams Carey, The Philosopher Fish: Sturgeon, Caviar, and the Geography of Desire (New York, NY: Counterpoint, 2005).

Image: Eberhard Windeck: Das Buch Von Kaiser Sigismund. Fishing for Sturgeon in the River Waa. 1440-50. Web.