by Helene Hoffmann, Attica Zoological Park (Greece)
Every winter, the Attica Zoological Park runs a nationwide art competition for children 5-15 years old to creatively learn about the threats that penguins and other sea birds face in the wild.
This year the focus was overfishing and the importance of choosing sustainable fish! We partnered with the EAZA Which Fish? Campaign to spread the message of how modifying our own behaviors can help seabirds like the penguin and other species that depend on fish for their survival.
Awareness was raised among families but also in schools! We reached almost 2000 individuals and 317 schools with our newsletter about the competition and the campaign message.
125 children directly participated in the competition and we selected the best five works that demonstrated understanding of the problem. The results of the competition can be found on our site and some selected art works here!
by Georgina Spyres, Attica Zoological Park (Greece)
Last month, a youth symposium took place at the Attica Zoological Park with several presentations on protecting the ocean environment. Dr Georgina Spyres, Head of Education & Research at the zoo, presented our campaign, highlighting the importance of the oceans and establishing protected areas, overfishing threats and how to consume seafood sustainably.
The GAIA (Global Awareness Investigation & Action) Youth Symposiums bring together high school students, educators, scientists and other professionals from all over the world to exchange knowledge on environmental research and good practices. For this edition, approximately 50 persons attended.
There was a short presentation of the campaign, following a presentation on the rehabilitation of sea turtles and followed by a presentation on creating a sustainable sea food guide for Israel. The symposium also involved voluntary work at the Archelon sea turtle rescue center (cleaning tanks and preparing food).
Did you know Attica Zoo provides sustainably sourced and labeled fish to their zoo animals, as well as 100% of the fish needs (with sustainably sourced fish) to Archelon Sea Turtle Rescue Center?
The next GAIA Symposium will take place in Tel Aviv, Israel on March 4th where the WhichFish? Campaign will once again be featured in front of 150 persons (parents, educators, students, etc.).
On the 12th of October, Lisbon ZOO launched the new educational program for schools and started the National Schools Contest “O Mar no Prato – Escolhas sustentáveis” (in English: “The sea in the dish – sustainable choices”) in the context of the Which Fish? Campaign.
This contest is in partnership with the Portuguese Education Ministry, WWF Portugal and Eco Schools Portugal. Aimed at pre-school, elementary, secondary and high school students, it aims to promote sustainable consumer choices with regard to seafood for more sustainability of the ocean.
The projects submitted for the contest should mobilize the local / international population for the conservation of the ocean, encouraging the adoption of behaviours that contribute to the sustainability of the planet.
What better way to raise awareness of a crisis than cooking together and sharing food?! A global movement for the sustainability of the earth and the ocean should involve changes in fish and seafood habits because we have the Sea in the Dish!
By Lina Gediminė, Lithuanian Zoological Gardens (Lithuania)
On October 6th, the Lithuanian Zoological Gardens hosted a World Animal Day event, where children were involved in an educational activity about marine pollution. In accordance with the new EAZA campaign “Which Fish?”, educators introduced visitors to the three primary components of the campaign: human sustainable consumption, sustainable animal feed and collection planning for sustainable aquatic species. While thinking about fish and other seafood that people and animals eat, it is impossible not to consider marine pollution. Marine pollution also causes the extinction of aquatic species.
Did you know that thrown-away plastic fragments into smaller and smaller pieces, but never goes away? Using a jar that pictures the marine food chain on it, educators were able to show how microscopic pieces of plastic gets into the smallest sea creatures and travels through the food chain.
By the way, plastic is not the only thing that pollutes our oceans and seas! During the educational presentation, an aquarium was used to symbolize the oceans, which were full of different types of trash. Every piece of trash had a deeper meaning of harm to marine life. For example, a small piece of netting symbolized over fishing and lost fishing equipment at the sea. A sunken toy helicopter was used as a tool to tell a story about oil spills from ships, planes or even oil dredging platforms after various accidents. Children cleaned it up, and after such a good job, they were praised and given prizes to encourage them to continue taking care of nature.