SCOTLAND, UK - Seafood Scotland’s widely acclaimed Seafood in Schools programme visited Girvan Academy with a roadshow to help pupils learn all about the Scottish seafood industry.
Pupils from Ballantrae, Barr, Barrhill, Colmonell, Dailly, Girvan and Maidens primary schools are joining in with the activities, finding out where seafood comes from, how it gets to their plates, why it is good to eat as part of a healthy diet, and what careers are available in the seafood industry. Around 180 children are benefitting from the event.
Pupils are having great fun at the first workshop, a wetfish counter display run by Seafood in Schools coordinator Sheila Bannerman, which enables them to see and handle a variety of fresh and live species, such as crab, lobster, langoustine, cod, haddock and monkfish, and to learn how they are caught, landed and processed.
She is joined by John Dunn from Marine Scotland Science, who is taking to pupils about the work of marine scientists, telling them about some of the commercially important fish species, and stressing why productive, sustainable seas are important to all of us. He will explain what scientists are doing to make fishing methods more selective, and talk about the work of research vessels in studying climate change, chemistry and hydrography.
“I am delighted to take part in this event and hope to entertain and inform pupils about how precious a resource the sea and its marine creatures are,” said John Dunn.
Seafood for the display is generously provided by local seafood supplier J Pieroni & Sons, whilst the Scottish Salmon Producers’ Organisation (SSPO) is providing a fresh salmon, which will later be donated to the home economics department for cooking.
Catriona Frankitti of the Fish for Health project, which specialises in teaching pupils about the benefits of eating seafood high in Omega 3 as part of a healthy diet, is hosting a ‘Come Dine With Me’ workshop, with tastings supplied by key supporters of Seafood in Schools. These include hot smoked mackerel (Tesco), sweet marinated herring (Marinades of Scotland), sprats (John West/International Fish Canners), smoked salmon (Lion’s Speciality Foods) and trout (Belhaven from Pieroni of Ayr), with oatcakes sponsored by Nairns.
“Scotland has the best natural seafood, and my business is to persuade children to enjoy it,” said Catriona.
“Local fishmongers and retailers sell delicious ‘ready to eat’ oil-rich fish products but many children have never tasted them. With my Scottish seafood menu, I invite them to explore the top 5 oil-rich fish and vote for their favourite. This is a fun interactive experience that will hopefully encourage them to want to try new seafoods in the future, and to ask their parents to buy what they have tried."
A third workshop on catching fish and life at sea is run by Karen Burston and Paula Daly from the Fishermen’s Mission in Troon, with ‘fishy tales’ galore provided by local fishermen John Munro, John Gourlay and Teddy Aban.
Completing the roadshow, chefs from Wildings Restaurant in Maidens, MacCallum’s of Troon and Joe Queen from the Cook School at Kilmarnock, are demonstrating how fish is filleted and prepared, and showing the children how to make smoked mackerel pate and a tasty Scottish haddock dish, with recipe leaflets to take home.
All classes taking part in the workshops commit to undertaking a seafood-based project during the year, to improve their understanding of the seafood industry to Scotland, and to deliver the message to the rest of their school.
To enable parents to find out what their children learned during the Seafood in Schools event, a professional film-maker is producing a DVD of the workshops.
TheFishSite News Desk