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July sees the return of the Fishstock Brixham School Project for its third year, when Torbay school children will receive a valuable insight into the daily lives of Brixham’s fishermen thanks to funding from Fishstock Brixham and the Crown Estates. Marine Education Rangers from Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust are working with Brixham Harbourmaster, Paul Labistour and Fisheries representative, Jim Portus, to teach children from Brixham’s Primary Schools about sustainable fishing and looking after the future of their marine environment.
120 school children will take part in a guided tour around the Brixham Fish Market learning what it is like to be a fisherman and fish merchant and to see some of the fish that boats have brought in. Children will then collect fresh fish to cook with at the Trust’s Occombe Farm, along with home-grown produce from Occombe’s Community Garden, whilst Trust rangers will teach the children which fish are more sustainable to eat. After getting stuck into some fishy cooking, the children will make large fabric banners to be displayed at the Fishstock Festival in September - aiming to create a large picture of Brixham's marine life that can later be separated to create individual banners.
Jim Portus from South Western Fish Producers Ltd said “This initiative came about through the enthusiasm of staff at the Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust. The rangers have worked on conservation initiatives with the fishing industry in Torbay and the work they do with school children at the Seahorse Centre seemed to fit perfectly with the ethos of Fishstock Brixham. The history and traditions of fishing are at the heart of Brixham and we want people of all ages to share with us the joys of working in harmony with the marine environment. The children who visited the Fish Market responded with great energy. We learned from each other and I hope this exercise repeats for each year group in the future. We know that about 25% of all young families in Brixham have some connection with the fishing trades, at sea or ashore and through this opportunity, the other 75% have gained valuable insight.”
Brixham Harbour Master Paul Labistour said;
“It was great to take local kids around our facility and it is something we intend to repeat more often when the new market is complete. What was noticeable to me was how many of them had friends and family relating to the fishing business, who incidentally contributed greatly to the kids visit taking time out to discuss all aspects of our lively industry. I look forward to our next round of visits.”
Trust Marine Ranger Heather Dutton said;
“In the past this project has provided children with a wonderful insight into Brixham’s Fishing Industry and shown them that sustainable local fish is great to eat. It is brilliant that more children will be benefiting from this opportunity again this year. It is really exciting this year that the children are getting to cook and taste the fresh fish they will be collecting at Brixham Fish Market. The Banners they will be creating will give a colourful insight into Torbay's Marine world. I am really looking forward to seeing the end results and seeing the children being involved in Brixham's Maritime Heritage.”
The Fishstock Brixham Seafood and Music Festival will be held at Brixham Fish Quay and harbour on Saturday 11 September 2010. The festival will also include children’s entertainment, live local bands and performers, seafood cooking master classes for the young and not so young and demonstrations of the best seafood cuisine by local chefs.
For more information about the Fishstock Urban Seafood and Music Festival visit www.fishstockbrixham.co.uk