Reporting on an Issue


Just as with all the other written work you have done you will need to structure your Current or Environmental Issue report to make sure it contains all the information that the task asks for. Again in common with your other work you will need to do a draft first.

Your report

There are many different types of report and many different ways of structuring reports, it is important to have a title that tells you what the report is about and a clear structure with relevant headings. Make sure that you include:

1. An introduction.

  • a clear identification of the issue;
  • why the issue is significant.

2. A section that describes the issue in YOUR OWN WORDS – please do NOT copy/paste from websites, make sure that this section includes:

3. A section that states the main facts of the issue in YOUR OWN WORDS – please do NOT copy/paste from websites, this should include:

  • who are the key players;
  • who, or what are affected (area, place, stakeholders, groups, individuals);
  • why the issue has arisen (reasons).

4. A section for your opinion on the issue in YOUR OWN WORDS – please do NOT copy/paste from websites, remember to include:

  • your own opinion on the issue
  • reasons why you have that opinion (you can use some data to support your opinion – you must include the source of the data)

5. A conclusion which sums up what you have written.

6. A bibliography, this must be a list of all your sources of information including books, newspapers and  website links where you have used information from the Internet.

There is a template here that you can use to help you plan your research and your report. Click this link Research Planning Template to download the template.

An example report

The amount you need to write and the depth/amount of information you need will differ with the Certificate level you are completing. At the higher Certificate levels you will need to write in much more depth and detail than in this example. Please check with your lecturer if you are not sure.

Credits: Basket image: Vilseskogen, link:
Underwater image: photohome_uk, link:

Report on the impact of shark attacks on the underwater basket weaving industry


This report considers the issue of shark attacks on workers in the underwater basket weaving industry. It will consider the facts and give an opinion about the issue.

Shark attacks on underwater basket weavers

There is a long history of occasional shark attacks on workers in the underwater basket weaving industry. However these are becoming more common. The attacks are significant because of the economic effect on the industry – they:

  • increase staff turnover due to deaths so new staff have to be trained;
  • lead to the loss of  half completed baskets as they become soaked in blood.

The facts

The weavers, the industry managers and of course the sharks play a part in this continuing issue.

There are many effects from the attacks. The main effect is from the death of individual weavers in attacks. This affects the families of the dead weavers and reduces the profits of the industry who then have to replace and train new staff. There are also impacts in the wider community as regular shark attacks make tourists less willing to visit the area.

This issue has arisen because of a change  in the variety of seaweed used by the underwater basket weaving industry. In the past they used the species Fucus weavicus however a decline in the availability of this has meant the industry changed to Laminaria smellicus. Unfortunately, when this is cut underwater, sharks are attracted because it smells to them like fresh blood.


This issue is very important to the industry. They need to search for a solution to reduce the number of underwater basket weaver deaths resulting from shark attacks each year. Because the industry is offshore it does not have the same health and safety controls as it would if it was land-based.

This my opinion because of the economic and human impact of the increased shark attacks since the introduction of the new seaweed in 2008.

Deaths of underwater basket weavers from shark attack 2006 to 2011




There was a large increase in the year of introduction and a continuing steady rise since. This needs action before it makes the industry completely uneconomic.


There has been an increase in the number of underwater basket weaver deaths from shark attacks each year since the introduction of the new seaweed weaving material. This has had many impacts on the industry. For the industry to continue a solution needs to be found.


Website of the Underwater Basket Weaving Industry. “Economic effects of shark attacks on the industry” Peter Profit.  http://www. UnderwaterBasketWeavingIndustry.htm Posted June 2011 Accessed June 2012

Underwater Basket Weaving Monthly. “A new seaweed for underwater basket weaving.” G. Economi. Weaver Publishing Co. July 2007

Website of South African Centre for Underwater Basket Weaving. Underwater Basket Weaving – Basic Information http://www.saunderwterbasketweaving/info.html Updated Jan 2009 Accessed June 2012

Website of Unsafe Work Australia. National Standard for Underwater Basket Weavers. /NationalStandard.aspx Standard Updated 2010 Accessed June 2012

You can use the report above as a guide for how to put together your own report as a draft blog post.