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Aberdeenshire Council to Support Seafood in Schools

05 November 2013

SCOTLAND, UK - Aberdeenshire Council has announced its support for an extension to Seafood Scotland’s Seafood in Schools programme, by funding interactive seafood workshops in three additional clusters (secondary school and associated primaries) over the next 12 months.

Funded through the Council’s 6-key areas initiative, the initiative complements existing Seafood in Schools activity delivered in Aberdeenshire under the national programme, and will ensure that even more pupils in the county can look forward to some exciting learning opportunities.

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, Councillor Peter Argyle, said: “The council is delighted to support the Seafood in Schools initiative. This is a valuable opportunity for young people to learn more about the fishing industry, which is such a key part of Aberdeenshire’s local economy. It is a real boost for the pupils to have skippers, processors and other key industry players speaking to them directly.”

Committee vice-chair, Councillor Alan Buchan, said: “It is great to see the Seafood in Schools initiative being extended to cover all of the Aberdeenshire areas. One of the best ways to encourage pupils to eat more seafood is to ensure they are familiar with what it feels and tastes like, how easy it is to cook, what the health benefits are, and where it comes from.”

Next week, using the new funding package, Seafood in Schools is at Mearns Academy, Laurencekirk, presenting a series of interactive workshops to around three hundred high school and primary pupils and their teachers.

The event takes place on Wednesday 30 and Thursday 31 October, and will teach children where seafood comes from, how healthy it is to eat, and how it gets to their plates. Each pupil will attend three half-hour workshops, whilst a separate session at lunchtime for teachers, aims to give them more confidence in using seafood as a context for learning.

The first workshop, a wetfish counter display run by Peter Bruce, skipper of the whitefish trawler Budding Rose and Maria Anderson from Seafood Scotland, is sure to be a hit! It will enable pupils to see and handle a variety of fresh and live species, including crab, lobster, langoustine, cod, haddock, monkfish and squid, and to learn how they are caught, landed and processed.

Sous chef David Freelove, from the prestigious Raemoir House Hotel in Banchory, will delight pupils in the kitchen, with a demonstration and tasting of simple mackerel and haddock dishes. Recipes will be available to take home, to enable parents and children to recreate the recipes.

The third workshop concentrates on health and wellbeing and the importance of eating foods high in Omega 3. Run by Catriona Frankitti of Fish for Health, this session features a tutored tasting using crab, sardines, mackerel, trout, mussels and herring.

Seafood for the display, tasting and cooking sessions will be supplied by Downies of Whitehills, Aberdeen Fish Producer's Organisation, RR Spink, International Fish Canners, Macrae/Young’s, Daniels Sweet Herring, Orkney Crab, Scottish Shellfish Marketing Group and Nairns oatcakes.

Parents, grandparents, carers, siblings and guardians are encouraged to attend a community event on the evening of the first day (30 October, from 16.30-18.30), which will give them an opportunity to enjoy the same workshops and to sample seafood delicacies.

Following the workshops, each participating class undertakes a project of their choosing using seafood as a context for learning, which they must demonstrate to the rest of the school through an assembly or similar activity. In this way, the Seafood in Schools programme and the messages it teaches, have a very wide reach. Visits to industry are particularly encouraged.

In addition to students from Mearns Academy, pupils from Laurencekirk, Auchenblae, St Cyrus, Luthermuir, Fettercairn, Redmyre and Marykirk will also attend. Their transport and project expenses are funded through the Seafood in Schools project.

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