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.
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.