Hackathon at AquaBioTech, Malta

Last week AquaBioTech held a sustainable seafood hackathon for our youngest and most precious audience. A group of children from St Aloysius College, Malta, along with their two teachers, were invited to their research facilities in Mosta, Malta, to learn more about seafood, its production as wild-caught or farmed fish, health and environmental issues, transport and food safety and trust.

The event was held under the FishEUTrust Malta Living Lab as an educational outreach activity for the project, in association with the iFishIENCi project (https://ifishienci.eu/) consumer outreach activities, Blue Schools Med programme (https://www.blueschoolsmed.eu/) and European Maritime Day In My Country (https://maritime-day.ec.europa.eu/my-country_en) .

The fisheries and aquaculture expert team- including Dr Adrian Love, Sean Dimech, Justin Galea, Alex Boyle- covered all bases, from why seafood is healthy to how can we farm and catch fish, all while taking into account the potentially harmful effects it can have on the environment.

The enthusiastic participants already had a very good knowledge of seafood through their ongoing Blue Schools Med engagement and were very active in giving their perspectives and opinions. They co-created interesting communication materials with the scientists to disseminate their knowledge on seafood issues, under the mentorship of marketing guru Jolanda Viviers and Malta FishEUTrust Living Lab leader Stela Karovic.

The enthusiastic participants already had a very good knowledge of seafood through their ongoing Blue Schools Med engagement...

The majority of the students said they consume seafood and that they like it, including in traditional and more international and contemporary preparations. Their favourite topics were seafood appearance, and the difference of it between farmed and caught fish; why bycatch is harmful to the environment; and how to sustainably catch fish using new fishing gears. The students presented their own creative communications on these topics to the expert scientists, and then have taken these back to their school to present to their other student colleagues and spread the word!

After the presentations ended, the students tried seaweed chips and snacks, which were surprisingly yummy, and were led on a tour of our Innovia research facilities, where they could see the Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) and different fish species which can be grown in them, followed by a prize ceremony where they all received ocean related prizes. 

The Malta Living Lab team were very happy to host this event and hope to repeat it again the future! 

This Article was prepared by AquaBioTech: AquaBioTech is the proud leader of the Malta Living Lab of the Horizon Europe FishEUTrust Project, which has received funding from the European Union's Horizon Europe programme under grant agreement no. 101060712. We are grateful to the Blue Schools Med (ERASMUS+ project KA201-92BE234C) team, Prof. Mark Mifsud and Prof. Alan Deidun at the University of Malta, for their support in this event, which was additionally run in cooperation with iFishIENCi (European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 818036) as part of the European Maritime Day In My Country event program.

Mark Langley

Outreach Officer

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