Human Impacts—You’re Excluded

Summary: Although fishing gear may be designed to catch a particular species of marketable fish, sometimes other species also accidentally get caught. Through hands on simulation, students explore how fishing trawls may be modified to reduce bycatch.

Concepts to teach: Bycatch, excluder, trawl, iterative, efficiency, selectivity, engineering design

Goals: To deal with the unwanted problems associated with bycatch, the fishing industry must change their gear and/or their practices. Students design models of excluder devices to solve this real-world problem.

S4.4D.1, S4.4D.2
S5.4D.1, S5.4D.2

Specific Objectives:

  1. Define “bycatch” and how it affects the fishing industry and the environment.
  2. Describe how a fishing trawl works to catch fish.
  3. Create and demonstrate how a model “excluder” reduces bycatch.

Activity Links and Resources:


  • Discussion Questions included in the You’re Excluded curriculum.