Last week the Loughs Agency visited local primary schools in the Foyle and Carlingford areas as part of the Salmon Ambassadors programme.
The programme, which forms part of the legacy of 2019’s International Year of the Salmon, will see the agency working with eight schools (six in Foyle and two in the Carlingford catchmen) to connect pupils with their local river habitats, and use the lifecycle of the salmon to teach them about the broader themes of biodiversity and ecology.
Loughs Agency education officer Michael Cosgrove 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: “Wach 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, before presenting their findings and results at a salmon conference in June.