Students are introduced to the current state of fisheries and fish populations and learn about some of the history that brought us here. Students examine graphs and data from the UN's State of the World's Fisheries and Aquaculture report.
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.
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 NOAA's ECOPATH modeling software. Students also learn about Integrated Ecosystem Assessments, which are used by NOAA Fisheries, to help successfully manage different types of ecosystem-based fisheries.
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 marine ecosystems, and Cabo Pulmo, a National Park and MPA launched by the fishing community in 1995.
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 learn what it means for a species to be overfished, and explore the issue of the still-collapsed cod stocks and the role ocean warming may play in the failure to for the stock to rebound.
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: Google Earth, spreadsheet software
7. Nitrates and Phosphates and Algae, Oh My!
Students learn about ways in which humans are increasing the nutrient content of coastal waters and about the ensuing consequences for land and sea. Students 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: Lab Supplies
Students explore visualizations and other data sets (ocean temperature, winds/upwelling, El Niño, etc.) to examine effects of atmospheric events and climate change on commercial fisheries.