University of South Florida

USF College of Marine Science


OCG Food for Thought — Fish Banks

OCG girls participated in an activity called Fish Banks.

OCG girls participated in an activity called Fish Banks.

Written by: Kelly Vasbinder, OCG staff

Today the girls participated in an activity called Fish Banks, a game that simulates the fishing industry (and my personal favorite part of OCG!).

The girls are divided into teams of five. Each team of girls owns a fishing company which has to buy and sell boats, come up with creative marketing ideas for their company, make decisions about their company’s finances, and — most importantly — decide on a fishing strategy.

The staff participate too, taking the roles of bankers, investors, seafood restaurants, statisticians, environmentalists & policy-makers.

Besides being tons of fun, this game introduced the girls to the idea of “The Tragedy of the Commons,” as they experienced first hand how a shared resource (the available fish in the game) can be quickly depleted when everyone is competing instead of working together.

The girls learned about the challenges of sharing resources, as well as how data and cooperation can aid us in making better decisions regarding those resources.  We wrapped up the activity by hearing from some of our staff (who actually work in fisheries!) about U.S. fisheries management & policy, and their current fisheries-related research.   The girls did a wonderful job this morning and had fun learning an important lesson!

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