The Curse of the Dead Fish

by: Bernice Maliao

Publication Date: March 10, 2017
Length: 6 pages
Product ID#: 1-009-300

Core Disciplines: Sustainability

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Teaching Note

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Aquaculture has become a major source of food, income and livelihood for hundreds of millions of people around the world, but there is a growing concern about its environmental impacts. This case combines science and sustainability as it explains the processes of eutrophication associated with the rise of aquaculture. Students are asked to consider concepts such as “tragedy of the commons” and to propose possible solutions to address the challenges brought on by accelerated eutrophication.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Assess and analyze the advantages and disadvantages of an aquaculture industry.
  • Define eutrophication and identify the causes and consequences of this phenomenon.
  • Explain the relationship between dissolved oxygen, water temperature, and nitrogen in a freshwater system.
  • Propose possible solutions to address challenges brought by accelerated eutrophication due to the intensive fish culture method.
  • Understand the conditions that lead to a “tragedy of the commons” and suggest solutions to prevent destruction of a common resource.