Human Use of Resources—Fishing

Summary: For many Oregonians, one of the primary ways they connect with the ocean is through catching and eating seafood. This topic guide explores the story of Oregon’s fishing history, and invites students to reflect on the impacts seafood and fishing have in their own lives.

Concepts to teach: Recreational fishing, commercial fishing

Goals: Students recognize that they are connected to the ocean through the seafood they eat.


Specific Objectives:

  1. List three species of fish brought in to Oregon ports and consumed by at least some students in the class.
  2. Find out what kinds of seafood can be purchased locally, and from where the seafood was harvested.
  3. Identify changes that have occurred to the fishing industry in Oregon over the past century.

Activity Links and Resources:

  • The Oregon Story: Fishing—This OPB documentary offers on-line teacher resources, including complementary classroom activities, maps, and extensions.
  • ODFW list of sport fish species of Oregon—Students may have personal experiences fishing for or eating these species.
  • Sustainable U.S. Seafood—This resource from Alaska Fisheries Science Center was created to help educators introduce the complex process of how seafood gets to market.
    • What’s science got to do with it?—Introduces the science behind sustainable seafood.
    • Sets the stage for science and math activities in the Human Impacts and Stewardship sections of this focus area.
  • Bayfront Quest—This self-guided, place-based exploration of Newport’s commercial fishing industry can be used as a field trip activity, or as a model for creating a local Quest.


  • Probe: Connections to the Ocean—Consider specifically how students are connected to the ocean through diet.
  • Based on Fishing Inquiry studies, create a map showing the origins of various seafood that can be purchased locally.