Fishing for approval

“If a man fishes with hook and line from the bows of a vessel at anchor and the line is carried down towards the stern and grasped by anyone and the fisherman mistake the resistance for the tug of a fish and pull it and the person be hooked, his catch shall become his property, even if it be the captain’s concubine.”

— From a Johor version (compiled ca. 1789) of the Malaccan digest of marine law (Undang-Undang Laut), quoted by Richard Winstedt in The Malays – a Cultural History (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1961).

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