Commercial trawling has a devastating effect on biodiversity in areas where it has been used. Large commercial trawlers have been historically decimating both marine environments and significantly decreasing stock levels to a level at which they are unable to recuperate. The impact on communities sitting on the seafloor, known as benthic communities is devastating, the primary culprit being drag trawlers with beams of up to 12 meters, and several beams often deployed at the same time. This lesson looks at the effect of commercial trawling on both fish stocks and benthic community biodiversity. Students will understand relative sizes and impacts of large-scale fishing operations, and devise a plan to reduce the impacts of trawling. Students perform percentage calculations and analyze graphs.
In everyday life, students can be unaware of the impact of their food choices on the environment. Therefore, it is essential that students are educated in their food choices. If students cannot link their food to where it comes from, they are unlikely to make sustainable choices in the future. “Go Fish” aims to encourage students to start thinking about fish in the ocean and how fish stocks can change for the better or for the worse. In the educational game, cards will be selected by chance, so some students ‘oceans’ may be more successful than others. Students will complete a fishing log to monitor events of the game and reflect on the events that cause a change. By playing this game, students can come aware of the negative and positive actions that can take place to encourage fish stocks or declining fish stocks.
A fishery is a geographic region that contains a population of aquatic species which are a natural resource that needs to be managed. This management requires people from different backgrounds and in different fields, such as stakeholders, scientists, fisherpeople, government groups, and citizens. The goal of managing fisheries is to ensure that the different fish populations will be sustainable and a resource for now and future use. It can be a difficult thing to manage since people in different roles will have different priorities. Students will re-enact a fisheries management meeting by adopting the roles of various stakeholders in Plymouth (commercial fishers, recreational fishers, environmental groups, citizens, scientists, etc.) and advocate for a certain policy based on their role as a stakeholder.
Philippe Cousteau travels to Plymouth, England, one of Europe’s largest seafood exporters, to explore fisheries and the impacts these practices can have on the environment. Philippe joins Dr. Martin Atrill from the University of Plymouth out at sea to use a trawl net for a fish survey and to understand how data is collected and fish populations are monitored. Fish require balanced and healthy ecosystems in order to thrive and feed our growing population. Philippe joins Dr. Abigail McQuatters-Gollop to learn more about plankton the base of the food web that supports all fish.
Fish are a major food source for many of the world’s population, however, many fishing practices can be detrimental to the environment. One of these negative impacts is called by-catch. Philippe travels to the Plymouth Fishmarket to learn about quotas and how this can impact fish populations. Different fish species have different life cycles and histories, which is something that also needs to be taken into account in order to properly manage fish stocks. Impacts from mismanaged fisheries can be seen around the world, Philippe sets out to find out what is being done to protect this vital resource.
Philippe Cousteau explores juvenile fish habitats. Marine biologists, Tom Stamp, and Dr. Ben Ciotti show Philippe how different habitats can be monitored. The use of nets, acoustic telemetry, sampling and more are used to monitor habitats, like estuaries. Learn how protecting these habitats, where fish spend their early years, is crucial in ensuring fish populations for future generations.
For educators looking to teach biodiversity to their students. Lead students from the basics of biodiversity to building solutions to foster and protect this element of our world.
Slides from our virtual field trip with Dr. Kate Charlton-Robb with the Marine Mammal Foundation.
This calendar has been created by the EarthEcho International Youth Leadership Council. These youth, aged 16-22, designed this calendar to increase awareness and inspire behavior change to protect our collective future. The YLC invites you to use this calendar track and change your habits and, hopefully, provide monthly ideas to help you live a more sustainable, conscientious lifestyle.