Seafood in Schools at Mackie Academy

SEAFOOD Scotland’s widely acclaimed Seafood in Schools programme is on the last day of a two-day visit to Mackie Academy in Stonehaven.
The roadshow features three workshops that will enable pupils to learn all about different aspects of the seafood industry, and to try some tasty local fish and shellfish.
The event at Mackie Academy for more than 450 pupils, is funded by Aberdeenshire Council, which is working to ensure that all children in its region have access to the Seafood in Schools programme.
Pupils from Mill O’Forest, Arduthie, Gourdon, Bervie, Catterline, Kinneff, Johnshaven,  Lairhillock, Glenbervie, Carronhill and Dunnottar primaries are joining in with the activities.
They will learn about 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. Their transportation costs are funded by the project.
Belinda Miller, Head of Economic Development at Aberdeenshire Council said: ‘Through the active participation of commercial fisheries and catering businesses, the Seafood in Schools programme provides pupils with a tremendously well informed insight into Scottish Seafood.
‘As well as the wonderful range of seafood which is landed on our shores, they will learn how to cook it and the health benefits of incorporating seafood into our diets.
‘Aberdeenshire Council has been very happy to provide Seafood Scotland with additional resources to ensure that all six of the council’s administrative areas have been able to host an event.’
David Anderson, CEO of the Aberdeen Fish Producers Organisation, has arranged for some fresh fish and shellfish to feature in a seafood display – a highlight of the workshops – and for cooking up by chef David Morrison, a chef with Sodexo Remote Sites.
‘In view of the importance the industry places on the Seafood in Schools project’, Anderson said, ‘thanks go to Peter and J Johnstone, Lunar Fishing Company, Raymond Simpson and Dougie Welsh from Gourline in Gourdon, for assisting in the supply of the fish for the Mackie Academy event.
‘Everyone involved in these events from the Industry agrees that giving the next generation an opportunity to see how this healthy product can be acquired and cooked is vital for all our futures.’
Catriona Frankitti of the Fish for Health project, which specialises in teaching pupils about the benefits of eating seafood high in Omega 3, is hosting ‘Come Dine With Me’ sessions, with tastings of mackerel, herring, sprats, salmon and trout.
These have been generously provided by Norsea Foods Ltd, Daniels Sweet Herring, International Fish Canners, Youngs Fraserburgh and RR, Spink, with oatcakes sponsored by Nairns.
Keen to keep aquaculture firmly in the picture, and to ensure that Aberdeenshire youngsters understand the important of the salmon industry to the Scottish economy, the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation has supplied a fresh salmon for display and later use by Mackie Academy’s home economics department.
Scott Landsburgh, Chief Executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation said: ‘We are delighted to continue our support for the Seafood in Schools programme.
‘The workshops offer a fun and interactive way for children to learn about salmon farming, to discover the fantastic taste and texture of our home grown salmon and to discover how good Scottish salmon is for their health.
‘Research suggests that eating food rich in Omega 3 such as salmon can provide many health benefits and are key for improving learning and brain development.
‘I’m sure the children will enjoy sampling some of the best locally sourced produce that Scotland has to offer.’
All schools taking part in the workshops commit to undertaking a seafood-based project during the year, and as part of this, Mackie Academy pupils will be photographing and videoing the event to prepare a special newsletter.
A community event for parents and siblings is an important part of Seafood in Schools, and local coordinator Maria Anderson and the workshop presenters welcomed visitors after school on Tuesday 2 September, to test their knowledge, see what their children learned at the workshops, and taste the seafood.  An educational time was had by all.