What's the Catch? Launch

January 7, 2020 9:00 AM


EarthEcho Expeditions: What’s the Catch? will launch with a virtual field trip to the University of Plymouth’s Marine Station. Hosted by Dr. Benjamin Ciotti, lecturer of marine biology at the University of Plymouth, this virtual field trip will provide background information on global fisheries and the research and technology being implemented to ensure a sustainable future.


Dr. Ben Ciotti

Marine Biologist at The University of Plymouth

Dr. Ben Ciotti is an ecologist and physiologist working to understand the reliance of fish on coastal habitats, particularly during early life stages. His research takes place in estuaries and coasts throughout the globe, from the southwest of England to West Scotland, North America, and the South Pacific. He has been instrumental in implementing new biochemical techniques to better identify which areas and environmental conditions are necessary to support the growth of young fish that fuel the productivity of many marine fisheries. As a member of the ICES Working Group on the Value of Coastal Habitats for Exploited Species, Ben is translating this knowledge into policy and action that will safeguard important fish habitats.

Classroom Resources

EarthEcho Expeditions: What's the Catch? Trailer

Join us on our 2019 Expedition: What's the Catch? Journey with Philippe Cousteau and the EarthEcho International team to learn more about fisheries and what we can do to help.

EarthEcho Expeditions: What's the Catch? Managing Habitats

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.

What's the Catch?

Bio-Blocks - A Fish Habitat STEM Design Challenge

Global populations have for decades migrated more and more to coastal regions. This colonization of the coast has resulted in large areas of what was formerly rocky shores, salt marshes, and mudflats becoming built environment for people. What’s more, as sea levels rise more, coastal defenses are being put in place to protect towns and cities from the oceans. These coastal defenses are also replacing natural habitats that play a vital role in the life cycle of fish, including spawning locations, nurseries, and sources of planktonic food. This, in turn, is affecting the fish stocks in the oceans. During this lesson, students will gain a basic understanding of the idea that specific habitats are essential in the lifecycle of some species. Students will work through the engineering design process to build a ‘bio-block’ solution to make sea walls a more nature-friendly solution for flood protection.

What's the Catch?

Go Fish - A Hands On Lesson on Fisheries

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.

What's the Catch?

EarthEcho Expeditions: What's the Catch? Fisheries Impact

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.

All resources from EarthEcho Expedition: What's the Catch? are related to this virtual event. Please learn more by visiting our EarthEcho Expeditions page!

Science Standards