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Be a FISH Hero!

Saturday 17th October brought around 318 secondary food and nutrition teachers together to train on-line as part of the ‘Fish in School Hero’ workshop. The programme aims to give school children a chance to prepare, cook and eat fish before they leave school. The workshop helps teachers to become more confident in preparing and cooking fish with students in their classrooms.

The workshop includes presentations on the ‘Nutritional benefits of fish’ by Alex White of the British Nutrition Foundation, ‘Sustainable fishing and biodiversity’ by Forum for the Future and University of West London and practical work brought to life  ‘Buying, preparing and cooking fish in schools and at home’  by Rob Phillips owner of Pengelly’s Famous Fishmongers and Simon Gray. Filming generously supported by Cornwall Good Seafood Guide.

Louise Davies and Simon Gray from the Food Teachers Centre who are the co-ordinators of the workshop say:

Our Food Teachers absolutely appreciate the support from the Fishmongers’ Company to make this dream a reality. Teachers struggle to learn fish fileting and cooking skills and need a cheap source of fish to allow cooking to happen in their classrooms.  The programme will be a game changer for young people.  A survey earlier in 2019 showed that 52 % pupils rarely or never cooked fish in school.  We are going to improve that dramatically. Teachers are keen to change their teaching”.

The Fishmongers’ Company’s Fisheries Programme Office, Gavin O’Donnell said

“The classroom provides an ideal opportunity to introduce young people to the incredible seafood the UK’s waters provide. Young people are eating less and less fish and the Fish in Schools Hero programme is a fantastic chance to help teachers educate their students about the benefits of eating fish for both their health and our coastal communities and give them the skills they need to prepare and cook seafood.”

Rob Phillips – Owner Pengelly’s Famous Fishmongers, Looe Cornwall says:

“It is an honour to be involved with this ground-breaking programme. It gives us as an opportunity to support the continued progression of our industry and that is something, I am passionate about.  Young people can often be overlooked, but this programme gives food teachers access to exciting ‘hands on’ experiences that will help shape their students fish preparation and cookery skills as well as future eating and purchasing habits.

By being a Fish in School Hero, we can give hands on support from our fishmonger’s business which are perfectly located in the historic fishing port of Looe. We’ve access to some of the best fish and seafood which we purchase directly from small scale fisherman who use traditional methods and promote sustainable fishing.  We aim to give schools and young people access to fresh sustainable Cornish Fish”.

Matt Slater, Marine Awareness Officer from Cornwall Wildlife Trust says:

“Cornwall Good Seafood Guide aims to help people make good seafood choices. Our website is packed with information on Cornish seafood including over 60 species of fish and shellfish and 13 different fishing methods in use. We rate seafood on sustainability, working with the Marine Conservation Society method.  Our site is a great resource for teachers and pupils who’d like to start cooking but are unsure about sustainability. We are delighted to support this training!”  

Alex White, Nutrition Scientist, British Nutrition Foundation adds:

“It’s important to provide teachers with opportunities to develop their food skills and enhance their knowledge to deliver impactful lessons, ensuring that pupils receive great learning experiences which inform and motivate.  We are encouraged to eat at least two portions of fish per week (one of which being oily), so practical workshops provide a good opportunity to encourage pupils to consider their fish consumption through cooking and tasting.”

Supported by the Fishmongers’ Company’s Fisheries Charitable Trust, Fish in School Hero is managed by the Food Teachers Centre and their volunteer team throughout the UK. Teachers will be supported by local Heroes: fishmongers, fish-loving chefs and fish suppliers, as well as other Heroes who visit schools on line or in person to talk about their role in bringing seafood from the sea to the plate, highlighting careers and opportunities in the fish industry.

If you are willing to pass on your knowledge and passion, we are actively looking for new Fish heroes nationwide to support our work. You can register your interest in the project by registering by following this link: https://forms.gle/z6pBBkSupb1oVumw5