Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

The Sustainable Use of Fisheries

The Sustainable Use of Fisheries is a Flash-based game designed to be played by two to eight students in a classroom setting. Students act as fishers sharing a fishery, and must make decisions about how to exploit their common resource. Players have the potential to over-exploit or under-exploit their fishery, both of which can cause their fishing village to fail. Playing the game allows students to discover the “Tragedy of the Commons” first hand, and to experiment with different approaches to regulating a limited resource. The game empowers students to answer questions about population growth, predation, cooperation, and sustainable exploitation through an inquiry-based process.

I developed this interface in collaboration with Aaron Cohen, who did all of the programming in Flash. We invite your comments and suggestions.

To check out the game, download a teacher’s guide and classroom worksheets, and learn more, please navigate to the dedicated The Sustainable Use of Fisheries page.

Teachers who are using The Sustainable Use of Fisheries in the classroom:

  • Shelley McCabe of Humber College (whose suggestions led to some valuable improvements in the game!)

Are you using The Sustainable Use of Fisheries in your classroom? If so, let me know!

The Sustainable Use of Fisheries is now available on the Ecological Society of America‘s EcoEd Digital Library.

Our work on this project was supported by Pratt Institute’s Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education grant administered through the Center for Sustainable Design Studies.