2012-13 essay questions
Sea Animals, Big and Small
Our world’s oceans are home to an incredible variety of sea life. To celebrate the biodiversity of living things that depend upon the sea, this year the essay contest asks you to think about and examine relevant issues regarding ecosystems and species interdependence. Our questions focus on one of the largest sea animals and some of the smallest: the plight of the North Atlantic Right Whale and the role of small forage fish in the Gulf of Maine cod fishery. Big and small, it all matters.
All of us at FTBS look forward to reading your essays. Good luck!
The North Atlantic Right Whale is one of the most endangered large whales. It is estimated that only 500 North Atlantic Right Whale (aka the Urban Whale) remain.
Examine the plight of the Right Whale and discuss what you think the future holds for this species. Finally, do you think it is important to save any one species? Why?
WATCH: "The Right Whale: Urbanizes">
A 14-minute film by 16-year-old Noelle Anderson
Overfishing has historically played a decisive role in the depletion of cod and other groundfish in the Gulf of Maine. Scientists are now also examining the role of forage fish, like herring and alewives, in promoting and maintaining healthy groundfish stocks.
How have forage fish impacted groundfish stocks over the years? What efforts are being made to restore forage fish in the Gulf of Maine and what are the trade-offs with these projects?
Please note: We encourage students to write about topics that interest them and welcome any student to create their own essay question which explores an aspect of the film that relates to ecosystems that they find most engaging. Should you wish to pursue this option, please email the contest with your proposed topic idea for pre-approval.