Looking through the lens of marine fisheries, high school students learn about history, culture, science, language arts, and business as part of NOAA’s pilot Local Fisheries Knowledge Project.


Through interviews with local fishermen, and others in fishing-related industries, students explore the connection between fisheries, the marine envrionment, their communities, and their own lives. In the process, students document and preserve the rich knowledge and experiences of these individuals for future generations.

Two high schools in Maine initially piloted the project during the 2003–2005 school years (see Pilot Project). Jonesport/Beals HS is continueing it during the 2005/2006 academic year. Participating educators integrated the project into their classes and designed a place-based curriculum, which provides academic benefits to students and ensures the project is relevant to the local community.

Students choose the specific focus of their interviews with guidance from teachers (Topics). Students share their work by publishing the transcripts, with the consent of interviewees, in NOAA’s online Local Fisheries Knowledge Database, which is free and accessible to the public. Schools may also develop local uses for the interviews.

Chesapeake Bay fisherman with a basket of blue-crabs. Photo by Gene Cope, NOAA Fisheries.

Photo collage: 1) A fishing supplies store, Maine. Photo by Jennifer Sepez, NOAA Fisheries. 2) Fishing boats in the fog, Maine. Photo by Jennifer Isé, NOAA Fisheries. 3) Hauling in 400 tons of jack mackerel. Chile. Photo by C. Ortiz Rojas. 4) Wooden lobster trap, SW Harbor, Maine. 1945. Photo by O.E. Sette, Courtesy of NEFSC. 5) Ringed seal. Photo by Lew Consiglieri, NOAA Corps.

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