EarthLabs for Educators > Fisheries > Lab 5: Gone Fishing

This page first made public: Aug 12, 2008

Gone Fishing

Open the Student Activity in a New Window The lab activity described here was created by Erin Bardar of TERC for the EarthLabs project.

Investigation Summary and Learning Objectives

Groundfish catch in Georges Bank, a large elevated area of the sea floor situated between Cape Cod, Massachusetts and Cape Sable Island, Nova Scotia. Photo courtesy of NOAA.

This lab activity introduces students to overfishing, using Georges Bank groundfish as a case study. In Part A, students learn about overfishing by examining trends in annual haddock landings and mortality in Georges Bank from 1969-2004. In Part B, they learn about what it means for a species to be overfished by examining trends in Georges Bank Atlantic cod recruitments and biomass from 1978-2004. In Part C, students explore whether or not it is possible to reverse the effects of overfishing through ecosystem and fisheries management.

After completing this investigation, students will be able to:

Context for Use

Having already learned some about the basics of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in Lab 4: To Fish or Not to Fish?, students are prepared to learn more about the specific human practices and actions that make these protected areas necessary. In this lab, they will learn about overfishing, using the Georges Bank region off the New England coast as a case study.

This lab takes one to two 50-60 minute class periods. Readings can be assigned as homework.

Activity Overview and Teaching Materials

In Part A of this lab, students examine trends in Georges Bank haddock catches and fishing mortality from 1969-2004. In doing so, they are introduced to how scientists determine whether or not a species is subject to overfishing.

In Part B, students examine trends in Georges Bank Atlantic cod recruitment and biomass from 1969-2004, in order to learn about what it means for a species to be overfished. They also read the History of the groundfishing industry in New England to learn about how Georges Bank fisheries came to be in such dire conditions.

In Part C, students read about the success of MPAs and fishing zone closures in rejuvenating certain fish stocks in Georges Bank. They also examine the most recent combined landings and biomass data, in order to determine whether rebuilding has been sustained for haddock ad cod in this region.

Printable Materials



Teaching Notes and Tips

It may be helpful to have students create a glossary of unfamiliar vocabulary terms and acronyms.

Assessment

You can assess student understanding of topics addressed in this Investigation by grading their responses to the Stop and Think questions.

State and National Science Teaching Standards

California Science Teaching Standards met by this activity

Developer will correlate activity to standards in these documents:
Earth science content standards - Grades 9 to 12
Biology content standards (see Ecology) - Grades 9 to 12
Investigation and Experimentation Standards - Grades 9 to 12

Developer will correlate activity to standards in this document:

PDF of Science and technology standards Earth science standards begin on page 112

Developer will correlate activity to standards in this document:

Learning standards for science

Developer will correlate activity to standards in this document:

North Carolina Standard Course of Study

Developer will correlate activity to standards in this document:

Texas Essential Knowldege and Skills (TEKS)

Developer will correlate activity to standards listed at this site:

National Science Education Standards (SRI)

Additional Resources

Content Extension


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