New research from Seafish has revealed that the UK’s kids have a worrying lack of awareness when it comes to naming different species of edible fish.
In a poll of Britain’s five to 11 year olds, carried out by the industry authority on seafood, one-third (29%) of children named Fish Fingers as an edible seafood, ahead of popular species haddock (18%), prawns (16%).
More kids were able to come up with Finding Nemo favourite, Clownfish (12%), than mackerel (5%), and sustainable species pollock and coley failed to feature at all.
Seafish aims to improve education around the consumption of fish including the health benefits it brings, the variety of types on offer and importance of consuming sustainable species.
Research has shown eating habits are formed before the age of five, when children begin primary school. However teachers have previously indicated that educating young people on the importance of seafood has been difficult to manoeuvre into the school curriculum in an engaging way.
Seafish undertakes a number of initiatives across the country aimed at furthering understanding of the importance of fish in a healthy diet. This autumn it will roll-out the latest in a series of education programmes across the UK, which will include a teachers’ guide for close to 18,000 schools across the country and children’s learning materials and workbooks.
Teachers and parents can also find more information on the health benefits of introducing fish into children’s diets, further details on sustainable species and recipe ideas by visiting Seafood’s Fish is the Dish website.
And from September a new curriculum for England schools will include cooking, which Seafish hopes will further increase children’s interest in eating seafood.
Commenting on the results of the research, Heather Middleton, Fish is the Dish director, said: “Ensuring a profitable and sustainable future for the UK fishing community is Seafish’s primary purpose and encouraging the consumption of fish has a key role to play in achieving this. By educating children on the importance of seafood in their diet, we are helping to inform dietary decisions in the early years of eating habit development.
“The results of our research have been largely positive but we are all too aware that there is still work to be done to improve education on the benefits of eating fish. However we are hopeful the initiatives we will be rolling out in the next few months will go some way to address this.”