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9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, Economics, English Language Arts

Resource Types

  • Article
  • Data

Regional Focus


Improved Fisheries

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  • This article highlights the carbon reduction possible by changing commercial fisheries' practices to reduce overfishing, protect the seabed from trawling, and allow depleted fish stocks to recover.
  • Students will learn about the importance of allowing depleted fish populations to recover to sustainable levels (from an economic and carbon storage perspective), protecting the carbon stored in the seabed, and the resulting ability of fishing boats to travel shorter distances and spend less time fishing.
Teaching Tips


  • This article is presented as a scientific paper which can make it beneficial in both science and language arts classes as practice in reading technical texts.
  • The "What You Can Do" section provides succinct, practical ways that students can take action to be a part of this climate solution.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should have background knowledge on concepts related to fisheries and overfishing, so consider watching this short video on the state of fish populations or something similar prior to using this resource.
  • A basic familiarity with the units of measurement used in the article, gigatons or metric tons, will help with comprehension.


  • Provide students with a note-taking guide that directs them to summarize concepts, such as methodology and economic considerations, in order to organize significant findings while reading.
  • Enhance students' understanding of climate solutions by allowing them to view these Climate 101 videos that provide background information on how to start enacting solutions to climate change.
  • Consider pre-teaching new vocabulary prior to reading the article, allowing students to focus on comprehending big ideas in the text.
  • Have students research their own governments' policies that might promote overfishing and propose a plan for how to change these policies if necessary.
  • Social studies classes can research the negative impacts of commercial fishing on Indigenous populations, subsistence fishers, and small-scale fishers.  Identify if these measures to limit commercial fishing would also have additional benefits for these populations.
  • Science classes can use this article to connect to lessons about carrying capacity, sustainable harvests, carbon storage and the slow carbon cycle, trophic cascades, or the sixth mass extinction.
Scientist Notes
This resource analyzes how implementation of the improved fisheries solution can reduce fuel usage, protect vulnerable fish species, increase catch, and avoid up to 1.54 gigatons of carbon emissions by 2050. Financials are not projected, though reducing fuel usage is certain to provide some cost savings. This resource provides a good introduction to improved fisheries, but the references cited must be investigated to have a fuller understanding of the proposal. Some discussion of the economic and social costs to fishing communities is presented, and this provides a great opportunity to engage students. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-1 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
      • HS-ESS3-3 Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-7 Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
    • LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
      • HS-LS4-5 Evaluate the evidence supporting claims that changes in environmental conditions may result in: (1) increases in the number of individuals of some species, (2) the emergence of new species over time, and (3) the extinction of other species.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.15.9-12 Explain how current globalization trends and policies affect economic growth, labor markets, rights of citizens, the environment, and resource and income distribution in different nations.
    • Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
      • D4.6.9-12 Use disciplinary and interdisciplinary lenses to understand the characteristics and causes of local, regional, and global problems; instances of such problems in multiple contexts; and challenges and opportunities faced by those trying to address these problems over time and place.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.5 Analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the structure an author uses in his or her exposition or argument, including whether the structure makes points clear, convincing, and engaging.
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text's explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; summarize complex concepts, processes, or information presented in a text by paraphrasing them in simpler but still accurate terms.
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