History of precious coral
The first people to practice coral fishing were the people of the Mediterranean. Pliny the Elder (AD 25- 79) was one of the first to well document the activity of coral fishing in the Mediterranean. In the tenth and eleventh centuries the Arabs were actively fishing coral off the North African coast. In the seventeeth century the people of Torre del Greco emerged as formidable coral fishermen operating all across the Mediterranean in the quest for precious coral. For example, in 1817 250 boats with 2500 men set off from Naples to fish for coral in Algeria. In 1875, the first of the three Sciacca reefs off the coast of Sicily were discovered. Precious coral was first ‘discovered’ off the coast of Japan around 1830, and harvesting activity gradually grew in subsquent decades. Coral fishing began in Taiwan around the 1920s, and in the 1960s in Hawaii.