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Fisheries Chair Welcomes Council Support for Seafood

>> 27 October 2013

Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Fisheries Working Group and Fraserburgh SNP councillor Charles Buchan has welcomed support for an extension to Seafood Scotland’s Seafood in Schools programme, by funding interactive seafood workshops in additional schools 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.

Commenting, Councillor Charles Buchan said:

“I am very pleased at the progress of the roll-out of the Seafish in Schools programme which is visiting Mearns Academy on the 30th and 31st of October.

“The previous event was held in the Mintlaw schools network, and I was delighted by the reception of the pupils to the presentations and demonstration, given by Skipper Peter Bruce, of the Budding Rose whitefish trawler, scientists from Marine Scotland, and chefs from Banff & Buchan College.

“The catching and processing of all kinds of high quality seafood is of great economic importance to our North-east communities, and events such as these show to young people and their parents the benefits of eating locally caught fish and seafood, such as increased health and well-being, and in the reduction of food miles.

“As Chair of the Aberdeenshire Council Fisheries Working Group, I wish to thank our partner, Seafood Scotland, and our sponsors who provided the food: Macrae at Young's Seafood, International Fish Canners, Downies of Whitehills, RR Spink, Daniel's Sweet Herring, Orkney Crab, Scottish Shellfish Marketing, and Nairn's Oatcakes.”

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

The event takes place on Wednesday 30th and Thursday 31st 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, 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 (30th 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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