The Aquarium Trade

The Aquarium Trade

Watch this brief, video picture of practice that captures everyday classroom life and provides real-life examples of how students learn and think about ocean topics.


3 - 8


Earth Science, Oceanography

As consumers, we make many choices about the products we buy. We make choices whether to spend more to get exactly what we want or whether to buy more affordable options. Sometimes these choices support large-scale industries that harm the environment, and sometimes the choices support industries or small-scale businesses that engage in sustainable practices. With respect to ocean products, one of the most obvious decisions consumers make is the choice about purchasing seafood. Given the wealth of attention devoted to this issue and the websites and resources made available to help in this decision-making, such as Seafood Watch guides, right and wrong choices about seafood are easier to make. But what about choices regarding jewelry, decorations, and pets that come from the ocean?

Watch this video of 7th grade students in Carpinteria, California—a coastal community. The purpose of this classroom video is to see students learn about and discuss the trade-offs of the aquarium trade and whether this trade is good or bad.

For additional classroom context, video analysis, and reflection opportunities, read the Picture of Practice page for "The Aquarium Trade" in the One Ocean Environmental Literacy Teacher Guide, page 128.

Media Credits

The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited.

E. Tucker Hirsh, M.S. Environmental Science and Management
Tara G. Treiber, B.A. Natural Sciences: Ecology
L. Jeremy Richardson, Ph.D. Physics
Marcia S. Matz, M.A. Design
Meghan E. Marrero, Ed.D. Science Education
Amanda P. Jaksha, M.Ed. Teaching and Teacher Education
Rachel J. Fisher, M.S. Biology
Cindy Olson
Julie Brown, National Geographic Society
Kristen Dell, National Geographic Society
Lindsey Mohan, Ph.D.
Chelsea Zillmer
Educator Reviewers
Catie Boarts, Heal the Bay
Meghan E. Marrero, New York State Marine Education Association (NYSMEA)
Tara G. Treiber, Heal the Bay
Last Updated

January 22, 2024

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