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Gabrielle Sierra


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Economics, Civics

Resource Type

  • Podcasts, 35 minutes, 8 seconds

Regional Focus


Why It Matters: Gone Fishing

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  • This podcast episode from the Council on Foreign Relations explains how unsustainable fishing practices and climate change have had a negative impact on the ocean's ecosystems. 
  • Students will learn that while fish are a vital food source, most of the world consumes a handful of overfished species. 
  • The podcast also explains how industrial fishing techniques destroy entire habitats and result in massive amounts of waste. 
Teaching Tips


  • A transcript of the entire episode is provided.
  • Experts provide balanced and nuanced information on the fishing industry.
  • The show notes provide a plethora of linked articles, podcasts, and videos that will help students learn more about the topics discussed in the episode.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Because the podcast covers a variety of topics, it may be helpful to break it up into smaller sections:
    • The first section (0:20-6:05) introduces the problems facing the fishing industry.
    • This next section (6:06-12:55) points to the importance of fish in global diets and how eating a wide variety of fish species can help with overfishing.
    • This section (12:56-17:58) explores the problems with aquaculture and wasteful industrial fishing methods.
    • This section (17:59- 20:34) explains the impact of coastal development and climate change on ocean species.
    • This section (20:35-27:03) delves into the legality of managing sustainable fishing in the open ocean.
    • This section (27:04-29:36) shows how the European Union's fishing regulations have helped to promote sustainable fishing practices.
    • This section (29:36- 33:44) presents solutions for promoting biodiversity in the ocean.


  • Civics and government classes could read the linked article on how the United Nations is working to protect ocean biodiversity and then discuss the historical impact of international treaties.
  • Ethics and social studies classes could read the multiple linked articles about modern slavery in the fishing industry and discuss solutions to global human rights abuses.
  • Culinary, life skills, or home economics classes could use the linked articles and videos to discover recipes that use different fish species and then try one.
  • Other resources on this topic include this video that explains how ocean acidification is changing entire ecosystems, this resource on sustainable fishing practices, and this interactive lesson that shows how climate change is effecting the oceans.
Scientist Notes
Upwards of 90% of the human caused global warming is absorbed by the oceans, which in turn alters the habitats that fish species thrive in. This is just one of the challenges facing the fishing industry. This podcast episode explores the intricacies of feeding a global population. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Science
    • 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-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • LS2: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics Within Ecosystems
      • HS-LS2-7. Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
    • LS4: Biological Evolution
      • 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.
  • Social Studies
    • Geography
      • SS.Geog3.a.h Evaluate, in both current and historical contexts, how the prospect of gaining access to resources in contested zones creates competition among countries. Assess how and why consumption of resources (e.g., petroleum, coal, electricity, steel, water, food) differs between developed and developing countries now and in the past.
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