004 - Alien Species and Overfishing

Factual Question

How are humans impacting the amount of fish in our oceans?

How are humans creating an environment that helps to spread species across the oceans?


Conceptual Question

How can oceans and the resource they contain ever be used sustainably?

Key Terminology

            • Over-fishing
            • Alien species
            • Density


Define the key terms above by using the 'Useful Links' below:


Useful Links

Activity One - Describe

As always it is important to focus on the numbers when looking at an issue. While numbers do not always tell the whole or complete story they help us to ask questions about different issues. For this activity we are going to focus on overfishing.


      1. Using the infographic below, choose four pieces of data that you believe are important.
      2. Explain your answer to question one.
      3. Using the Food and Agriculture Organisation link, describe the global changes in fish stock.

Activity Two - Detailed Example - Overfishing

Now you have an understanding of some of the statistics surrounding the issue of overfishing in our oceans it is important to look at a specific example to know wha the impact is. A detailed example is something that you could write a couple of paragraphs about within an essay. For your own knowledge this means creating about half a page of notes with data to illustrate your points.


      1. Mark off half a page in your notes with a coloured line (remember to use a ruler).
      2. Write a heading - 'Overfishing USA'
      3. Create bullet pointed notes on the following using the link in the 'Useful Resources' box:
                    • Location
                    • Problem - what was overfished and why? Try and include data.
                    • What was the impact? Who was impacted?
                    • What was done to tackle the issue?
                    • How successful was the management?
      4. Using the same article, describe what is happening to fish in the rest of the world.
      5. Describe what you can personally do to impact the issue of overfishing (the article you have been reading will also help you).

Activity Three - Describe

It is all well and good for me to just tell you that there has been an incease in shipping due to a growing demand of consumer goods but it is always good to base that on facts and data. After all my shopping habit is not perhaps considered as a reliable form of evidence when considering how globally interconnected we have become!


      1. Using Image Two below, describe where the busiest (density) shipping routes are.
      2. Why do you think that these routes are the busiest?
      3. Using Image Three, describe the trend in container port traffic?
      4. Why do you think that there has been a change to container port traffic? Use the second link in the 'Useful Resources' box to help you.

Activity Four - Detailed Example - Alien Species

For this activity you are going to explore the impact that increased rates of shipping are having on the environment. We are going to focus on the threat that invasive species such as the Chinese Mitten Crab is having in Scotland due to the rise in the amount of container ships that travel throughout our oceans. Answer the following questions.


      1. Watch the YouTube clip and then read the second article to describe why the use of ships can cause pollution to the environment.
      2. Using the map in the 'Clear Seas' article where are the areas that have been impacted the most by invasive species catching a lift on ships? Why might this be the case?
      3. Using the Clear Seas article how can ship owners reduce the impact of invasive species?
      4. Now watch the second 'YouTube' clip and read the third article to create a detailed example of how invasive species are impacting the local ecology.