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Fish and chip shops make the grade as educational ambassadors for the MSC

Thirty-nine Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fish and chip shops recently took part in ‘Murdock’s Fish Club’. The MSC initiative aims to raise awareness about our oceans and encourages children to be ‘ocean heroes’ by choosing fish with the blue MSC label. The MSC provided the certified chippies with ‘Murdock’s Fish Club’ activity booklets as well as stickers, crayons and educational material to help them become ‘educational ambassadors’ for the MSC in their local communities.

The activity booklets follow the MSC’s educational mascot, Murdock the cat, on a journey to find out how MSC fish travels from the ocean to our plates and are packed with fun activities for children aged 6-11 years.

MSC fish and chip shops and restaurants were encouraged to take their ‘ambassador’ status further by organising events with local schools and within their local communities by using the MSC’s education resources such as an assembly, or a lesson on seafood sustainability.

Pupils at Spa Primary School, in Ballynahinch, were treated to a visit to a local fish market by Fish City in Belfast. The children had the opportunity to identify and feel fresh fish at the market as well as see how to cook it. They also met the MSC’s mascot Murdock the Cat and learnt about the importance of sustainable fishing.

Cornish MSC chippie Harbour Lights in Falmouth ran four very successful workshops for over 200 local primary pupils on the importance of sustainable fishing. The workshops focused on fishing methods and fish ecology along with ownership and protection of the marine environment. The MSC activity booklets helped children follow the illustrated story of fish from ocean to plate and Harbour Lights gave out prizes of MSC children’s aprons and mini Murdock the Cat toys for their excellent work. Children also got a chance to taste MSC certified Cornish hake!

In London Brockley’s Rock Fish and Chips ran a well-attended stall at the recent Brockley Max community event. Popular activities included a fishing game to teach children about seafood sustainability. They also gave out MSC goodie bags and the new Murdock’s Fish Club children’s activity booklets. Murdock the Cat visited to promote the importance of sustainable fishing and was very popular with the children. Kyri Karoulla, owner of Brockley’s Rock said the event was a great success:
"We enjoy being a part of the community in Brockley - sponsoring the local fayre, 'Art in the Park' is an excellent way for us to be involved. ‘Art in the Park' is a charity organisation with many activities for children and adults, including food stalls, local residents selling hand-made items and of course there is our MSC fishing game where children fished only the 'blue' fish, as these represent MSC fish, and we explained what this means. This year we were proud to have Murdock the Cat from MSC come along – he was hugely popular with the children! We believe that educating children on sustainability is important for the future of our oceans and the fish we love to eat, as they are the future of our society.”

Frankie’s Fish & Chips is a passionate advocate of sustainability and regularly runs educational assemblies for schools. Owned by Valerie Johnson and managed by daughter Carlyn Kearney, it serves MSC certified king scallops, brown crab, mussels and haddock.

As ambassadors for the MSC’s ‘Murdock’s Fish Club’, Frankie’s Manager Carlyn Kearney and staff, treated primary classes at Sound School to a lively assembly on the importance of sustainable fishing.

The team brought to life the journey from ocean to plate by bringing along boxes of fresh fish, sea creatures and even live crabs. They also gave the pupils goody bags containing mini Murdock the cat mascots, activity books and aprons. As part of Murdock’s Fish Club, Frankie’s Fish & Chips are promoting the message that consumers have the power to protect the oceans for the future by always making a sustainable choice.

Carlyn explains: "Living in a fishing community like Shetland, we feel strongly about protecting the industry and the oceans. Our assembly is a fun way of teaching children about where some of their favourite food comes from and how they can ensure it’s around for them to enjoy for many years.98% of the seafood we serve comes from MSC-accredited stocks, all of premium quality and freshly cooked.”

George Clark, Senior Commercial Manager, North East Atlantic at the MSC, adds, "Children are the shoppers and diners of the future so it’s important that, from a young age, we teach them about the impact of making a sustainable choice. All those involved in Murdock’s Fish Club, like Frankie’s Fish & Chips and Brockley’s Rock, are doing a great job of spreading the word about MSC certified sustainable fish in a fun way. We look forward to many more successful events in the future."

Fish and chip shops interested in getting MSC certified and receiving these exclusive educational assets and opportunities, can apply for certification through the NFFF online. Visit -

More activities that support the MSC’s sustainable seafood programme can be found on the Fish and Kids website .

Story By: MSC

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Date : 06-09-2017
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