Origins of Fishkeeping

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, my family and those whom God loves:

There are 69 references to fish in the Bible beginning with God giving man dominion over the fish of the sea (Genesis 1:26) and ending with St. Paul’s comment about humans, animals, birds and fish having been given different bodies by God (1 Corinthians 15:39). At the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry he called some fishermen to become fishers of men. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, the early Christian Church would use the ichthys, from the Greek ikhthýs for “fish,” as the secret symbol for their places of meeting.

Fish have played a role within Christianity and also within the larger history of humankind in terms of both food and pleasure. From this point on I will be considering the roots of fish keeping mostly in terms of pleasure.