"In Benyon’s defence, the government has had only 600 years in which to investigate this question. In 1376 a petition was presented to Edward III. It concerned something the petitioners called a wondryechaun, which means an object of amazement. It was, in fact, one of the world’s first beam trawls. Here’s the nub of the complaint:
'the great and long iron of the wondryechaun runs so heavily and hardly over the ground when fishing that it destroys the flowers of the land below the water there, and also the spat of oysters, mussels and other fish upon which the great fish are accustomed to be fed and nourished.'
The government is still considering its response."