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Fishing for a Future

Food, Natural Systems
9, 10, 11, 12
Essential questions
How do Earth systems influence biological productivity?
How does the El Niño-Southern Oscillation affect the Humboldt Current ecosystem?
How is a fishery stock assessment conducted?
How can fisheries become more responsible and/or sustainable?

The lessons in this module explore sustainable fishing through a specific case study in Peru, which is home to one of the world’s largest fisheries. The fishing activities that occur in the waters off of the coast of Peru represent a microcosm for the rest of the world. The need to protect the ecosystem and effectively manage its resources are important both for the health of the ecosystem and for the communities that depend on it.

  • Part 1- Students gain an introduction to the work being conducted by The Nature Conservancy in Peru and learn how the Humboldt Current sets the stage for one of the world’s most productive fishing grounds.
  • Part 2 - Students learn more about the difference between industrial and artisanal fisheries while exploring the challenges of open access fishing. They play the role of a fisheries management specialist and use data on catch and catch per unit effort to determine the best management strategies for two important species.
  • Part 3 - Students will extend and broaden their understanding of the conflicts around open access fishing, using a Socratic Seminar as a forum to discuss real issues faced by the fishing communities of Peru.
  • Part 4 - Students learn about common seafood species that are threatened by overfishing and reflect on lifestyle choices they could change. Students are provided the tools to become educated consumers.

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