This week, Loughs Agency have been visiting local primary schools as part of the Salmon Ambassadors programme. The programme forms part of the legacy of the International Year of the Salmon.
The Agency will be working with 6 local primary schools in the Foyle area and 2 in the Carlingford area to connect pupils to their local river habitats and use the lifecycle of the salmon to teach them about the broader themes of biodiversity and ecology.
Michael Cosgrove, Education Officer at Loughs Agency said ‘through the Salmon Ambassadors we hope to create an informed generation that will value salmon as they should be valued and most importantly, value the environment we share with the King of the Fish’.
In their journey to becoming a Salmon Ambassador, pupils will learn about issues effecting the Atlantic salmon from local to global level and reflect upon how modern lifestyles have an impact on local wildlife. Through a range of activities in class and on the banks of local rivers, pupils will be encouraged to take ownership of wild places and wild things so that they can be better conserved for future generations.
Allan Bogle, Community Engagement Officer said, ‘each school will also look after around 100 salmonid eggs until they hatch. This a participative education programme which is really hands-on so that each pupil can connect with the salmon and their local river’.
Over the next few months, 163 pupils will undertake a range of activities as they ‘research’ the migration routes, threats and life cycle of the salmon. Their research will then be presented at a Salmon Conference in June where they will share their findings and results.