10. Gone Fishin' - Assessments


  1. The Gone Fishin’s Questions can be used as a written assessment of what the students took away from this assignment.
  2. Have students read an article that discusses the problems facing the oceans’ fisheries (see Teacher Background for some examples) and write about the issue from the point of view of one of the many stakeholders (the fishermen and women, politicians, seafood restaurant owners, park rangers, etc.).
  3. Have students bring to class some real numbers and data about the state of fisheries in the world today. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association has a great educators resource for researching information about fisheries as well as suggestions for other activities to try. The Monterey Bay Aquarium also has many resources related to the conservation of ocean resources. In particular, students would benefit from learning about sustainable fishing practices and how to make responsible choices when buying seafood. The Seafood Watch portion of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Website has excellent information for helping students make educated choices.

Going Further

  1. There is an excellent video called “Empty Oceans Empty Nets” produced by PBS that discusses the fisheries problem.
  2. One direction to take this is into the realm of game theory, the economists’ and mathematician’s attempt to model human (and even animal) behavior through simplified scenarios. One of the most famous game theory scenarios is the prisoners’ dilemma in which 2 conspirators are arrested and placed into separate holding cells to be questioned. If both stay silent, then they both get light sentences. If both provide evidence against the other, then both get harsh sentences. If one stays silent and one provides evidence against the other, then the tattle-tale goes free while the betrayed gets a harsh sentence. This scenario alone has been observed to have many biological applications. For resources related to game theory, see the Game Theory Website.
  3. Finally, there are many other commons problems that students can research as a class or independently. These include logging, poaching, hunting, air quality, water quality, pollution, population growth, e-mail spamming, traffic congestion, and more.