#SomethingFishy - Pupils at Scoil Chroí Naofa in Bunninadden, Sligo have been named the national winners of Inland Fisheries Ireland’s Something Fishy competition for 2016 at an event in Sligo’s Clarion Hotel yesterday (Wednesday 12 October).
The winning group of 24 children from the school’s senior class take home the National Something Fishy Award and €700 for their animated short on the life cycle of the salmon – selected by an independent judging panel comprising fisheries officers and education staff.
Along with their teacher Adrian Ormsby, the class edited and produced the digital and artistic photo story during the previous school term.
The ‘Something Fishy’ programme is an educational initiative of Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) in partnership with Blackrock Education Centre, which allows students to learn about fish and the environment in a local context.
The 2016 programme saw 3,776 children taking part in 118 schools and 11 education centres nationwide. Students were invited to submit project entries into the competition with this year’s entries addressing the theme ‘Focus on Learning’.
“The standard of entry to this year’s Something Fishy competition was particularly high and it is fantastic to have so many children engaged on our fisheries resource,” said IFI chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne.
“Something Fishy gives children an opportunity to learn valuable lessons about the importance of protecting and conserving the aquatic environment but perhaps more importantly, they are also empowered to share their learnings with their peers via digital projects which can be enjoyed by all.”
Bernie Burke, principal of Scoil Chroí Naofa, described the win as “a fantastic achievement by the students involved who have thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the programme.
“They have discovered the magical world within our waterways and enjoyed learning all about the aquatic environment. I would like to congratulate each of them and their teacher Mr Ormsby on all their hard work.”
Since the inception of Something Fishy in 2005, some 50,000 children have participated in the initiative which aims to promote interest and understanding in fish and their habitats.
As part of the educational programme, IFI fisheries officers visit schools and provide classroom-based assistance, with a full range of resources for teachers and children also available on the Something Fishy website.
Aside from school-based learning, fisheries officers take students into the field to give them some practical experience of their work.