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SEP 15 1978

Econotnic Education Ne~sletter

Role Play:
Gone F1shin?
The fo llowing article presents a decisionmaking exercise involving role playing. Students
explore the interdependence of our economy and
our ecology, as exemplifie d by the case of the
New England fish ing industry. Plans are underway to publish an expanded version of the exercise, incorpora ting a grea ter number of roles and
issues as well as historical information. Thus
teachers who use the role play are encouraged to
send their reactions to The Ledger's editor. (See
"Fed U pda le" for address.)


Catch is unloaded at a New England port.

Until recently, fish had traditionally been considered a common
property resource; like outer space,
the fish in the oceans belonged to
everyone rather than to a particular individual or nation. In 1976,
however, Congress passed the
Fisheries Management and Conservation Act, which heavily limits
foreign fishing in a coastal zone
extending 200 miles off the shores
of the U.S. Previously, U.S. fishermen had faced stiff competition
from foreign fishing fleets. In 1972,
for example, New England fishermen took only one-sixth of the
total catch of fish from the Northwest Atlantic; the remainder went
to fishermen of the Soviet Union,
Japan, Canada and other nations.

country such as New England and
the North Pacific states.

In addition to restricting foreign
fishing, the 200-mile limit law
established a system of regional
fishery management. The Department of Commerce is responsible
for fishery conservation and is
advised by eight citizen councils,
representing regions around the

Further, all groups which use or
have an interest in fish resources
must be included in policy decision-making. The local citizens
appointed as council members
must represent a balance of the
various interested groups, like the
commercial fishing industry, recre-

Eac h council is charged with
developing a "fishery management
plan" for its coastal region. This
plan outlines how the council will
regulate loca l fishing so as to conserve fish resources and to serve
best the economic, recreational and
consumer needs of the region. The
council is authorized to use various
regulatory tools, such as: setting
quotas on the number of fish
caught, limiting the number of people allowed to fish, closing certain
areas or seasons to fishing and
restricting types of gear and boat

ational fishermen, seafood consumers and environmental organizations. In addition, the council
must hold a public hearing when
considering a policy decision so
that all concerned have an opportunity to express their views. At
the end of each of the four annual
fis h ing seasons, the council must
review its plan and consider necessary amendments.

The New England council set
quotas on the catch of cod, haddock and flounder for the 1977
spring fishing season. The local
fishing industry depends heavily
on these species - known as
groundfish - which are very
popular with seafood consumers.
As a result, groundfish stocks have
been depleted over the years.
It is now three weeks into the
spring season, and the groundfish
quotas have already been filled .

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Vol.5, No.3-Sept. 1978
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

The council just closed all fishing of
these species until the next season
and is now deciding how to regulate the groundfish catch during
the season ahead. A public hearing
will be held tonight; the four council members and the seven characters attending to voice their opinions are described below. The
council will reconvene after the
hearing to achieve consensus regarding next season's groundfish

• Allow two to three class periods for the entire exercise.
• Assign roles after students
have had an opportunity to read
the article.
• The statements of role give
background information about
each character; it is left to the student to develop a specific pr:-.ition
on groundfish regulation that is
in keeping with his or her role. In
doing so, students should use
their imaginations as well as consider the various regulatory tools,
such as quotas, described in the
background information.
• When students understand
their roles, start the public hearing, which should last 30 to 45
• Have the council reconvene to
reach a decision by consensus
during the first half of the class
period following the hearing.
During the remainder of the
period, students should participate in a debriefing discussion
along the lines of the follow-up
questions suggested below.
• Benjamin Gonsalves: A commercial fisherman for the past 20
years, you were delighted when
the 200-mile limit was passed.
Thinking that hard times were
finally over, you borrowed money
to buy a large modern fishing boat,
which you'd long dreamed of owning. The spring fishing season has
turned out to be a financial disaster
for you, however, thanks to the
council's quota system. You don't
know how you are going to meet
this month's loan payment on the
new boat. You don't think the
quota system can work because
there are too many boats in the
water competing for the same limited groundfish catch. You propose
instead . ..
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

• John Parisi: The president of
an environmental protection organization, you believe firmly in our
responsibility to conserve natural
resources for future generations.
Nonetheless, you are also sensitive
to the needs of those employed in
the fishing industry. The problem,
in your opinion, is that the fleet
depends too much on groundfish.
There are some 200 other speciessuch as whiting, squid and pollack-which still exist in volume
since they have not been traditional favorites with seafood consumers. You propose ...

• Mark Brown: You dropped
out of college five years ago because
the freedom of a fisherman's life
appealed to you. You think that the
independent character of the fisherman is as much a scarce national
resource as the fish themselves.
Not only does the quota system
threaten to destroy this freedom, it
is also completely unnecessary.
Now that the foreign ships have
pulled out, stocks of cod and haddock are at the highest levels ever
for the past 15 years. Thus you
propose . . .

term costs, but in the long run the
entire fishing industry will benefit
if fish stocks are allowed to replenish themselves. You have long
thought that the industry should
diversify and expand into new
markets, so you propose ...

• Joanne Stein: You have been
asked to attend the hearing by the
sporting club of which you are
president. Club members have no
complaint against conservation, in
general, but they did resent the
closing of cod and haddock fishing
midway into the season this
spring. They feel that those who
fish for sport should be able to do
so throughout the coming season.
Thus you propose . . .
• Sally Marsh: You attend the
hearing because you are concerned
about the high prices of cod, haddock and flounder, all of which are
great favorites of yours. For health
reasons, you prefer fish to meat as a
source of protein. You feel that the
consumer suffers from the quota
system by paying a higher price for
the artificially limited supply of
fish . You think that an attempt
should be made to keep prices reasonable by increasing the available
supply, so you propose .. .
• Alice Rogers, Council Chairperson: It is your responsibility
to ensure that the hearing runs
smoothly, and that all have an
equal opportunity to express their
views. You believe strongly in the
need for conservation, but you also
want to develo_p regulations that
protect the interests of all concerned. You listen carefully to the
variety of opinions voiced so as to
devise a plan which balances the
need for conservation with the economic, recreational and consumer
needs of the community.

• Maria Taylor: A marine scientist, you are employed by the government to advise the council on the
status of depleted species. You disagree with fishermen who argue
that groundfish are now so abundant that quotas are unnecessary.
Your data indicates groundfish may
eventually become extinct unless
part of the present supply is conserved. You recommend not only
that the quotas be continued, but
also that ...

• Mark Hanson, Council Member: You are the publisher of the
magazine, Ocean Sport. You consider that your major goal as a
council member is to support the
needs of the recreational fisherman. You are also concerned, however, with protecting the interests
of the seafood consumer.

• Theresa Gomez: You own one
of the largest fish processing companies in New England. Although
your business has suffered along
with the fishermen's this spring,
you support rather than oppose
conservation. You recognize that
conserving fish may have short-

• Manuel Motta, Council Member: The president of a fishermen's cooperative association, you
are concerned about the needs of
the commercial fishermen. Since
you recognize that conservation of
groundfish stocks is in the best
long-term interest of the fisher-

men, you are not totally against
restrictions. You also feel, however,
that fishermen deserve some kind
of assistance-perhaps a government subsidy-if these restrictions
cause them immediate hardship.

• John Hubbard, Council Member: Last year you retired after a
25-year career as a state conservation officer. Although your main
objective as a council member is to
ensure the protection of depleted
species, you are not convinced that
the quota system is the best way to
do so. Therefore you listen closely
to and question carefully those
who propose alternative methods.
You would like to see the council
adopt a blend of the various conservation methods.


• What issues were raised in the
public hearing? Which seemed to
you to be most important? Least
important? Why?
• The council is responsible not
only for fis hery conservation but
also for the welfare of the community. How well did the council's
decision reflect a balance of the
needs expressed by those who
attended the hearing?
• What are the long- and shortterm costs of the council's decision?
What are the long- and short-term
benefits? Who pays the costs, and

Innovative Classroom:
The New En land Aquarium

The New England Aquarium,
established "to make known the
world of water through education,
research and recreation," offers a
wide variety of resources and services to teachers and students interested in exploring aquatic life and
environments. Besides the Aquarium itself, which is visited by more
than 200,000 students yearly, an
extensive outreach effort is conducted by the institution's Education Department.
Outreach services include numerous teacher workshops which
are tailored to fit the needs of participants and are offered, for credit,
on units such as marine studies,
tidepools, salt marshes and coral
reefs. Individual teachers may also
arrange conferences to plan marine
curricular units and to review the
Aquarium's collection of materials.
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

In addition, the Aquarium's
trained, volunteer field associates
make classroom visits throughout
the Greater Boston area either to
prepare students for a scheduled
Aquarium visit or simply to offer
an educational program. Programs
usually feature a live aquatic animal such as a beaver, an otter, a
crab or a sea star as well as an
audiovisual presentation. The field
associates are available to make follow-up visits or to assist with field
trips to local aquatic habitats.
High school students interested
in exploring career opportunities
in marine sciences and oceanography may join Explorer Post 629,
which sponsors monthly meetings
and occasional field trips. Those
students aged 16 and over may
receive training and course credit
by enrolling in the Aquarium's
volunteer program.
A class trip to the Aquarium
combines fun and learning. The
Educa tion Department recommends choosing a general theme,
such as aquatic locomotion or protective coloration, around which
the visit can be organized and

who receives the benefits? Do the
short-term benefits outweigh the
short-term costs? What about in
the long-run?
• Did you agree with the council's
decision? If not, what do you think
would be a better solution to the
groundfish problem?
• In your opinion, is government
regulation necessary to ensure wise
management of scarce, renewable
resources such as groundfish? Who
benefits from such regulation, and
who pays the cost? Do those who
pay the cost deserve compensation
from the government? Who should
make decisions about government
regulations? □

related to the in-school curriculum.
The Education Department provides resource materials suggesting
possible topics and related questions to guide students' observations in the Aquarium and followup discussion in the classroom.
The multi-media educational
programs presented in the Aquarium are designed to meet the particular needs of each visiting group and
may concern either aquatic life or
environments. Especially popular
are the performances given aboard
the Discovery, a floating amphitheater. These shows highlight the
intelligence and adaptive ability of
dolphins and sea lions. Staff and
volunteers also give gallery talks to
enhance students' understanding
of the exhibits and to reinforce the
information given in the educational programs. Special films are
shown every afternoon.
For more information on any of
the above programs and services,
several of which involve a fee, write:
Education Department, New England Aquarium, Central Wharf,
Boston, MA 02110 or call: (617)
If distance prohibits your taking
advantage of the Aquarium, consider organizing a local field trip.
Classroom units on marine ecology
can be substantially enriched by a
visit to one of the freshwater
ponds, salt marshes, swamps, bogs
and beaches which abound in New
England. If your class is more interested in investigating the economic
aspects of New England's marine
resources, visit a local fish pier,
market or processing plant.

Nevv England Update
The Connecticut Joint Council
on Economic F.ducation announces
three fall courses, as follows: a
course on the American economic
and business system will begin on
September 21 at the Groton campus
of the University of Connecticut; a
course on identifying economic survival skills will begin on September
27 at the Amity Regional High
School; and a two-weekend workshop on economic survival skills,
co-sponsored by the State Department of Education, will begin on
September 29 at the Storrs campus
of the University of Connecticut.
The Council will hold its 25th
annual meeting on October 20 in
New Haven. For further information, call Edward Hamblin at (203)

During October 1978, the Maine
Council on Economic Education
will co-sponsor with the State
Department of Education two
workshops on "Trade-offs," an
economic education series to be
televised during the coming year.
Participants will later lead more
workshops on the same theme, to
be offered throughout the state
during January. The Council also
hopes to establish during 1978-1979
three regional economic education
centers providing materials and
training to teachers. For further
information, call Robert Mitchell at
(207) 581-7067.

The Economic Education Center at Southeastern Massachusetts
University will conduct two inservice courses this fall at the
Hanover/Hingham Public Schools
and the Fall River Public Schools.
The Center is currently seeking
part-time economics teachers for
these courses. Contact Richard
Ward at (617) 997-9321 for more
This fall, the Stonehill College
Center for Economic Education
will sponsor two in-service courses
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

for secondary school teachers; call
Timothy M. Sullivan at (617)
238-1081 for more information.

At its annual meeting this past
June, the Board of the New Hampshire Council on Economic Education elected Robert Mixer, vice
president of the Concord National
Bank, as the new chairman.
The Council's program chairman, Carter Hart, conducted a
workshop this summer to train a
cadre of teachers in the use of
"Trade-offs." During the fall, these
teachers will train others at locations throughout the state. Call Mr.
Hart at (603) 271-3609 for further

The Rhode Island Council announces the appointment of Judith
Brenneke as the new director of the
Center for Economic F.ducation at

Rhode Island College. Previously
the associate director of the Illinois
Council on Economic Education,
Dr. Brenneke will teach four inservice courses this fall and will
train teachers in the use of "Tradeoffs." For further information, contact her at (401) 456-8037.
During the fall, Vermont educational television will broadcast the
series of economic educational
units produced by Econ Trek, the
Vermont Economic Education Project. This year's series includes two
new films: "Men of Stone" and
"You Can't Get There From Here,"
studies of Vermont's granite and
more information, call Malcolm
Severance at (802) 656-4017.

For information about fall workshops not yet announced, contact
your local council or center.

Fed Update
• As of this issue, The Ledger has a
new editor: Nina Gillman. Previously a consultant with the Massachusetts Department of Education, Ms. Gillman joined the staff of
the Fed's Public Services Department in June 1978. A new column,
"Letters to the Editor," will appear
in forthcoming issues; feedback on
past issues and suggestions for
future topics will be warmly welcomed. Write: Nina Gillman, Public Services, Federal Reserve Bank
of Boston, Boston, MA 02106 or
call: (617) 973-3452.

• The Fed-Our Central Bank, a
new 16 mm color film produced by
Francis Thompson, Inc., provides
an overview of the structure, goals
and operations of the Federal
Reserve System. The central theme
of the 18-minute film is how the
value of money is determined and
maintained. The movie emphasizes
the impact of our nation's central
bank on the individual citizen by

interweaving the general discussion on the Fed with the story of a
Vermont craftsman who wishes to
expand his business. The film is
appropriate for high school students. To borrow it free of charge,
write: Bank and Public Information
Center, Federal Reserve Bank of
Boston, Boston, MA 02106 or call:
(617) 973-3459.
The Ledger compiles information from
various sources and is published periodically as a public service by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Inclusion
of news about economic education
should not be construed as an endorsement of specific programs by the Bank.
Material contained herein does not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal
Reserve Bank of Boston or the Board of
Governors. Copies of this newsletter
and a catalog of other educational publications, films, and published research
information may be obtained free of
charge by writing: Bank and Public
Information Center, Federal Reserve
Bank of Boston 02106, or by calling
(617) 973-3459.