Fishing for Sustainability

Let’s learn about Fishing for Sustainability:

  • Fishing is one of the most ancient human practices there is, there is evidence we have been fishing freshwater fish going back at least 40,000 years!
  • More than 50% of the world’s population live 3km or closer to a surface freshwater body.
  • Right now our population is around 7.8 billion people, that’s 7,800,000,000 in numbers. Whew that’s a big number!
  • Of the 7.8. billion people that live on the planet, around 3 billion (3,000,000,000) rely on fish as their main source of protein. That’s a lot of fish being eaten!
  • As our population continues to grow and we invent new technology that means we can catch way more fish at once and we keep taking more and more fish from the oceans and freshwater sources.
  • The fish cannot reproduce quickly enough to replace what we have taken – this is not sustainable. This is known as ‘overfishing’.



Choose one of the engaging activities below to take action:

  • Going Fishing: Make your own simple board game called Going Fishing. The instructions are here. It’s fast-paced and makes you think about how many fish we’re catching and if it’s sustainable.
  • What’s in a Fish? Think about what a fish is to you. Do you eat it? Look at it? Swim like it? Write a short haiku poem (remember the syllables are 5/7/5 for the three lines) about what fish means to you. How would you feel if all the fish were gone?
  • Happy Fish? Look for any fish products in your house if you eat fish, do they have a sustainable fishing label? If they do, who is it from? 
  • Fishy Learning: Learn about the fish that live in the water near where you live. Draw and label a picture of the most common fish species in your area.


Journaling prompts

Choose one of the topics below to write about:

  • What would life be like if you were a fish? 
  • Tell a story about the last time you spent time near water



Check out some of our favorite Fishing for Sustainability videos:



Happy Feet follows the story of a young emperor penguin named Mumble, who, unlike the rest of his kind, cannot sing and must learn how to express himself in his own way: through dance. Although it is not immediately apparent that there are any environmental problems in the movie, subtle hints suggest that something is wrong as the penguins find it harder and harder to catch enough fish to survive. When Mumble is later captured, tagged and set free again by scientists, they follow him home where they become aware of an over fishing problem and move to correct it.


Related Podcast

Listen to this great podcast to learn more:

The Perils of Overfishing – Part 1



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