EarthLabs for Educators > Fisheries > Lab Overviews

Lab Overviews

1. Plenty of Fish in the Sea?
Students are introduced to the dire predictions about the future of the global fishing industry. Students read an NSF press release about the projected collapse of currently fished seafood. Students also use ImageJ to analyze oceanic biodiversity maps spanning 40 years.
Tools Needed: ImageJ

2. Are You Going to Eat That?
Students learn about destructive and wasteful fishing practices contributing to the decimation of the world's fisheries. Students explore various resources for identifying sustainable seafood and visit local markets and restaurants to investigate the availability of seafood on regional and national watch-lists in their community.
Tools Needed: Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Reader

3. Oh What a Tangled Web: Ecosystem-Based Management
Students learn about ecosystem-based approaches to fisheries management and explore tools used to plan and manage marine ecosystems, including the Pacific Ocean Shelf Tracking (POST) tool-part of the Census of Marine Life (CoML) Project-that will tag and track marine species in and around the Gulf of California. Students also play the Great Australian Fisheries Challenge game in which they implement EBM approaches in the management of three fisheries.
Tools Needed: QuickTime Player, Adobe Flash Player

4. To Fish or Not to Fish?
Students are introduced to Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) as a tool for ecosystem-based management of fisheries. Students also learn about the Gulf of California, one of the world's richest ecosystems and foremost locations for marine conservation, by watching the IMAX film Ocean Oasis.
Tools Needed: TV/DVD Player, Adobe Reader

5. Gone Fishing
Students learn about the consequences of overfishing by examining the sharp declines in groundfish landings in New England over the last several decades. They also investigate whether or not the effects of overfishing can be reversed through ecosystem and fisheries management measures.
Tools Needed: Adobe Reader

6. And On His Farm He Had Some Fish
Students analyze U.S. and global FAO aquaculture data and learn about aquaculture methods and their associated environmental risks. Students also examine before and after satellite photos of the Pacific coast of Honduras to see how quickly aquaculture can change coastal landscapes.
Tools Needed: Excel, Adobe Reader, ImageJ, Adobe Flash Player

7. Nitrates and Phosphates and Algae, Oh My!
Students read portions of the L.A. Times series Altered Oceans and conduct an experiment in eutrophication by testing the effects of fertilizers and other pollutants on a model ecosystem. Students also examine 2 years of ocean color (chlorophyll concentration) in the Gulf of California in order to determine direct connections between agricultural runoff and algal blooms.
Tools Needed: Adobe Flash Player, Lab Supplies
  • algal culture
  • water (fresh or salt depending on the type of algae)
  • two 250-500 mL clear glass or plastic containers
  • light source (sunny window will work)
  • droppers or pipettes
  • liquid plant fertilizer
  • wax pencil, tape, or stickers to label containers
  • microscope

8. Climate Change
Students explore visualizations and other data sets (ocean temperature, winds/upwelling, El Nino, etc.) to examine effects of atmospheric events and climate change on commercial fisheries.


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