3 Video Series
Ocean Fisheries Case Study Series
Item#: 538
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Running Time: 45 minutes
G 9-Adult
David Conover





Volume 1
Underwater, Out of Sight: An Ecosystem Case Study, 15 min.
Scientists explore marine ecosystems that are changing as a result of ever-growing fishing pressures. This case study and its compelling underwater footage document how the harvest of sea urchins off the coast of Maine impacts other species in that marine community. Scientist-divers track predator-prey balances and life cycle events such as spawning. By studying a complete ecosystem as well as species life cycles, the methods, timing and location of harvest can be adjusted to promote sustainable practices.

Volume 2
A Tale of Two Fisheries, 15 min.
Fishermen tell the story of the Maine cod fishery, which has never been worse than the present, and the lobster fishery which has never been better. Archival footage shows that lobster harvests have not always been so abundant. Fifty years ago they also crashed. Since then a conservation ethic has evolved within the industry. Now lobster harvesters speak with pride of their booming industry. Using aquaculture, cod fishermen have begun to work with scientists to enhance stocks. If cod returns, how can harvesters work to conserve the resource upon which they depend?

Volume 3
Managing for the Future: The Tragedy of the Commons Revisited, 15 min.
Managers face a worldwide challenge of collapsing fish stocks. Could this failure be partially due to top-down governance? Straight from the decks of fishing boats, and from a submarine searching for broodstock lobster, we witness experiments in local co-management by both scientists and harvesters in Maine. Can fishing communities find sustainable management policies for these commonly-owned resources? The American-style town meeting goes to sea as harvesters and managers wrestle with the tough issues of regulation, marine protected areas, and other strategies of self-restraint.