Finding Fins

Free Lesson

In an effort to better understand the shark fin trade and its impact on oceans world-wide, scientists from FIU and other organizations have ventured to Asian fish markets. Scientists have learned what species of sharks are most commonly sold in the markets and the geographical regions from which they were harvested. Throughout this lesson, students will analyze the data from four different studies that pertain to shark DNA barcoding, zip-coding and GSI to better understand shark conservation on a global level.

Lesson Plan

Essential Question: How can DNA be used to determine a geographical region of a species of shark? How do humans impact the loss of shark biodiversity worldwide?

Objectives: By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Discuss the characteristics of shark populations, such as number of individuals, age structure, density, and pattern of distribution.
  • Recognize the consequences of the losses of shark biodiversity due to human activity.
  • Understand and explain that every organism requires a set of instructions that specifies its traits, that this hereditary information (DNA) contains genes located in the chromosomes of each cell, and that heredity is the passage of these instructions from one generation to another.

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