Activity Introduction

Blueback: How Can We Fish Sustainably? Year 5 HASS 

Lesson summary

Students investigate recreational fishing in reference to sustainability. Students learn that educating oneself about bag and size limits, on and off seasons and sea creatures’ reproductive cycles can positively impact and sustain marine life.

This is lesson 6 of 13 in the Blueback: Sustainability and the ocean unit. The preceding lesson is Blueback: What is commercial fishing? The next lesson after this is Blueback: We need to protect 30% of the ocean by 2030

Learning intentions

Students will:

  • understand the differences between sustainable and unsustainable recreational fishing practices
  • understand the impact that unsustainable recreational fishing (a human activity) can have on the ocean.

Success criteria

Students can:

  • promote ways for the general public to fish sustainably
  • explain how unsustainable recreational fishing can impact the health of the ocean.

Lesson details

  • Communicating
  • Creative Thinking
  • Digital Literacy
  • Ethical Understanding
  • Initiative

Australian Curriculum (v9.0) content descriptions – HASS

  • the influence of people, including First Nations Australians and people in other countries, on the characteristics of a place (AC9HS5K04)
  • the management of Australian environments, including managing severe weather events such as bushfires, floods, droughts or cyclones, and their consequences (AC9HS5K05)

Syllabus outcomes: GE3-2

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability

Relevant parts of Year 5 achievement standards:

By the end of Year 5, students identify and describe the interconnections between people and the human and environmental characteristics of places, and between components of environments. They identify the effects of these interconnections on the characteristics of places and environments. They identify and describe different possible responses to a geographical challenge.

Level of teacher scaffolding:

Low: This resource and its associated materials should have all teachers need to be able to deliver this lesson. Concepts are explicitly explored within the lesson with no further reading required. Some of the activities may need to be planned in context to teachers’ classrooms. This lesson includes the option to use Canva which teachers should familiarise themselves with before using the tool with students.

UN SDG 14: Life below the water

Target 14.2: By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans.

  • Access to the film Blueback 
  • Access to Canva (optional)
  • Art supplies – Pens, paper, glue, scissors (optional)
  • Device capable of presenting a video and audio to the class
  • Individual devices with access to the internet (optional)
  • Student Worksheet
  • Writing materials (optional)

Special thanks to:

This is a circle comprised of two semi circles, the top one is orange and the bottom one is yellow. The logo reads 'Minderoo Foundation'.

Minderoo Foundation is proud to be the education partner for the film adaption of Tim Winton’s best-selling book, Blueback.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

We don’t have any related professional courses for this lesson at the moment, but we do have heaps of other Cool professional learning here.


Teacher Worksheet

Blueback: How Can We Fish Sustainably? - Year 5 HASS  

Teacher Content Information

This is lesson 6 of 13 in the Blueback: Sustainability and the Ocean unit. The preceding lesson is Blueback: How Healthy is the Ocean? The following lesson is Blueback: How Can We Fish Sustainably?

Teachers should watch Blueback (2022) so they are familiar with the narrative, characters and content. 

Access Blueback here. (

If teachers have their own fishing stories to share, they might like to bring in photographs to support their anecdote - this will be more engaging for the students.

Teachers have the option of stretching this single lesson over several lessons instead. 'Take Action', which asks students to create and produce a sustainable fishing guide could easily be allocated more time, especially if teachers wish to support their students to create a high-quality, refined text. 

Teachers also use their discretion regarding whether students create their sustai

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Student Worksheet

Blueback: How can we fish sustainably? Year 5 HASS 

Student Worksheet

Creating a Sustainability Guide: Part 1 

Working independently in pairs or small groups, you are to focus on one sea creature you're interested in (they do need to be caught and eaten) - it does not have to be fish. It could be bugs, mud crabs, scallops etc. Fill out the following boxes. You'll have to do some research on your chosen sea creature first.

Hot tip! 

The Department of Fisheries websites should be a good place to obtain this information: 

NSW - Recreational Fishing - NSW Department of Primary Industries (

QLD - Recreational Fishing - Queensland Government (

VICRecreational Fishing Guide - Victorian Fisheries Authority (

ACTRecreational Fishing in the ACT Factsheet - ACT Government (

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