Skip to content

Beach Activity

For the beach activity, we designed a game to learn about the duration of foraging trip and foraging efforts and how that can influence the probability of successfully raising a chick in the context of bycatch fisheries and individual differences in foraging behaviors by sex and personality. First, we randomly separated the group into two: “female” and “male” albatross groups. We taught the students about the notion of pair-bond formation by asking them to find a “partner” of the opposite “sex”. Then, each newly formed pair had to collect food resources to earn an offspring.

In the first round of the game, partners had to alternatively run along the beach to collect fishes (we used goldfish crackers bags) and come back to fill their bucket (representing a nest). If they had collected enough crackers after a total of two trips per individual, they were given a “chick”. They learned about how hard it is to collect food at sea with patchy distribution of resources, the importance of the duration of foraging trips, and of familiarity between partners, to get enough food to raise a chick.

The second round of the game was a green light / red light game where the players who were still moving when we called 'Red Light', had to sit to mimic that they were caught by fishing boats. We targeted some individuals to interact more with boats and hence became more likely to die from bycatch (e.g. females or bold individuals). We then counted the number of males and females, bold and shy, and the number of dead individuals per category and the number of chicks raised successfully. Hence the kids learned about the impact of incidental bycatch on population and productivity through a direct impact on mortality, but also an indirect impact on missing reproduction, and that the impact could differ among various group of individuals within a population with important consequences at the population level. We evaluated the success of our activities by asking questions and were very satisfied to see that the kids learned all the concepts described here.