From Ocean to Table

How does seafood get to your plate?
Grades: 6 - College


Through role-playing, teamwork, and a little fate, this activity provides students with an opportunity to get an "insider's" view of what it takes to be an active stakeholder in a commercial fishery.

Whether a boat owner, dockside buyer, processing plant owner, distributor, or retail seafood store operator, each student will get a deeper sense of the complex factors that determine the viability of a commercial fishery.

Students will learn to understand the real costs that contribute to eventual market value, as well as experience some of the unanticipated gains or losses that can occur at any stage along the way.


  • Students will learn how to analyze various costs/benefits associated with a particular fishery and will understand the various roles performed by stakeholders of that fishery.
  • Students will learn how to calculate estimated revenues and expenses using data from a chart.
  • Students will learn to evaluate real-world options and challenges related to a particular fishery.
  • Students will be able to apply critical thinking and problem solving skills to their analysis of various stakeholder terms and transactions.

Time: 50 minutes

Education Standards


Science: NS.9-12.1 Science as Inquiry. NS.9-12.6 Personal and Social Perspectives: population growth, natural resources, environmental quality. 
Math: NM-NUM.9-12.3 Number and Operations: compute fluently and make reasonable estimates. NM-PROB.PK-12.1-12.4 Problem-solving: solve problems that arise in mathematical and in other contexts; apply and adapt a variety of appropriate strategies to solve problems. NM-PROB.CONN.PK-12.3 Connections: recognize and apply mathematics in contexts outside of mathematics.
Economics: NSS-EC.9-12.2 Marginal Cost/Benefit. NSS-EC.9-12.8 Role of Price in Market System. NSS-EC.9-12.11 Role of Money.


Math: Algebra I (3.0) Students solve equations and inequalities involving absolute values. Algebra I (5.0) Students solve multi-step problems, including word problems, involving linear equations and linear inequalities in one variable and provide justification for each step. Algebra I (10.0) Students add, subtract, multiply, and divide. Students solve multi-step problems, including word problems, by using these techniques. 
Economics: Grade 12, (12.1) Students understand common economic terms and concepts and economic reasoning.

Ocean Literacy

6. The ocean and humans are inextricably interconnected (b, c, e, g).

Activity Guide & Powerpoint

activity guide

Activity Guide (pdf 11.9 MB)

powerpoint slides

PowerPoint Slides (pdf, 5302 MB)

PowerPoint Notes (pdf, 90 KB)

Printable Materials

role cards

Role Cards (pdf 2.5 MB)

fate cards

Fate Cards (pdf, 568 KB)

background data table

Background Data Table (pdf 84 Kb)

stakeholder flow chart

Stakholder Flow Chart (pdf, 152 KB)

Post activity worksheet

Post Activity Worksheet (pdf 116 KB)

Multiple Content Areas

Economics Class

Download All Modules

Download (zip file 76.6 MB)

Online Resources


teacher evaluation

Teacher Evaluation (fillable pdf 220 KB)