Sunday, January 9, 2011

Ancient Fish Trap in UK Discovered with Google Earth

Found via Google Earth at the following coordinates: 52.108914°, -4.707867°

"A HUGE ancient fish trap more than 250 metres long and probably at least 1,000 years old has just been discovered in the Teifi estuary. Fish_trap

The underwater structure was first identified on aerial photographs and a recent exploratory dive at the site near Poppit has revealed the structure is protruding about 30 cm above the sand, allowing for a fuller investigation by divers.

A collaborative project is currently underway between Pembrokeshire College and the Dyfed Archaeological Trust, and members of the public are being asked to help with information for research into the conundrum of the ‘Poppit fish-trap’.

Dr Ziggy Otto, lecturer in the coastal zone and marine environment research unit at Pembrokeshire College, explained: "A large, underwater structure has been identified on aerial photographs and there can be little doubt that this rather impressive – and quite apparently man-made -structure is an ancient fish-trap.

"The structure is entirely underwater (at all stages of the tide); it has never been surveyed, but is approximately 260 metres long, and is possibly made of locally quarried rock, although use of boulders carried in during the last glaciation cannot be ruled out either.

"Its age is unknown, but because of its now entirely subtidal position, this fish-trap is very old, possibly dating back more than 1,000 years, when the sea level was lower and the entrance to the Teifi Estuary further towards the Poppit side."

He adds that the structure’s orientation precludes the possibility that it was designed to catch migratory fish, such as salmon and sea trout, going up the Teifi.

"The structure is a true conundrum, and certainly worthwhile investigating further, because it forms part of the historic and cultural seascape of the area."

The fish-trap can be viewed on Google Earth, north-west of the RNLI station at Poppit in front of the cliffs. If members of the public have any information, however anecdotal or minor, the investigators would like to hear from them. "

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