What’s the By-Catch? Lesson Plan

Seafood serves as a primary source of food and protein for many people across the world, and the economies of many nations are heavily influenced by fish stocks and fisheries management. While efforts are in place to manage fisheries in many places around the world, there are still risks associated with fishing on a commercial scale. Many fishing vessels are equipped to target specific species of fish, for example, cod, but the large nets and trawls used for efficiency have a downside. This downside is called “bycatch”. Bycatch is defined as any non-targeted species that are brought in accidentally within the catch. In this lesson, students will use the engineering design process to create an alternative to modern fishing nets to try and reduce the amount of bycatch. They will also practice data collection and review.