The Importance of Fish in Aboriginal Culture

In modern day culture, the fish is mainly a sign of food. We all know this, and there’s plenty of uses for it. We’re all used to the idea that there are fishing laws affect how we treat fish. Laws of the sea state how we’re allowed to farm fish, while laws of the river dictate whether we can catch and keep fish, or whether they need to be released back to the wild. Culturally, the way we use fish is completely different from, say, the use that aboriginal people get from fish. We’re going to take a look at the differences in this article.

Fish as Pets


Aboriginal peoples do not keep fish as pets, as such. There is a heavy connection between the species and the culture of the people, but they don’t keep them as pets in the same way that other races of people do. As a wider community, non-Aboriginal people keep fish in tanks. This is commonplace amongst plenty of countries. The tanks are made up of glass, ‘toys’ and pebbles. And it comes with a lot of maintenance like feeding and cleaning to keep the fish healthy.

Fishing in the Community

Children Fishing

Some of the close bond between fish and Aboriginal people belongs to the fact that fishing is a simple, healthy and easy choice of food. It’s also an important way to promote the strong economy of Aboriginal people and to encourage trade and support from other areas in their countries. Whereas fishing is done as a means to an end for Aboriginals, for non-Aboriginal people, fishing can be done as a hobby or for business. There’s plenty of uses. Between the two communities, fish levels are managed to continually encourage a healthy level of livestock going forward.

Art Culture


Fish within an artistic culture is strong within the Aboriginal lives. Whereby there is no strong connection for non-Aboriginal people, other than personal preference, the strong livestock and business connection coupled with fish being a steady part of traditional diets, the link for aboriginal people is much stronger. Traditionally, there has been no language between Aboriginal people, therefore pictures and art were a strong way to communicate messages. Language – physical and vocal – has always been at the forefront of communication for most other cultures.



Traditional folklore is strong for many cultures in the world, not just Aboriginal people, although their legend and myth is very strong. There are countless stories of monster fish and giant fish spread across their great history. Whereas other cultures have been obsessed by the idea of the evolution of fish and the way they live their lives from a scientific and aquatic standpoint.

Fish are a huge part of the life of lots of people. Even more so as the health risks of red meat begins to filter through into a lot of Western lives. Fishing will become a major part of the way we eat, but we must also acknowledge the importance fish have within other, smaller cultures around the world.

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