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Kids reel in fish and environmental knowledge | Environment

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Kids reel in fish and environmental knowledge
Environment, News
Kids reel in fish and environmental knowledge

Sarasota, Florida - Some 95 third graders cast about for fish and reeled in some environmental knowledge on Thursday. The students from B.D. Gullett Elementary in Manatee County visited Mote Aquaculture Park for a fishing clinic and ecology day.

Besides casting besides experience anglers, the students also got to hob-knob with Mote scientists and tour the facility which produces farm-raised caviar. A Mote news release describes the fun day. 

 "At first I didn't know what happened to my bobber... it was hard to raise it up and then suddenly I had the fish - it was my first time catching a fish," said 8-year-old Taline Abadjian, who reeled in a bluegill. "I want to try it again."

Julian Medina, age 9, caught a sunfish and said he's setting his sights higher in the future. "I want to catch a shark," he grinned.

"We want these kids to develop a love for fishing and being outdoors" said Carole Neidig, Staff Scientist in Mote's Directorate of Fisheries and Aquaculture, who coordinated the event with fellow Staff Scientist Dr. Nate Brennan. "We also want to help educate them to become stakeholders in our environment, consider catch-and-release fishing, avoid polluting and share these values with their friends and families."

During a talk about ethical angling, the kids showed their knowledge and interest. Speakers showed the kids plastic soda-can rings, asking why sea turtles might mistake them for prey and swallow them. Several kids knew the answer - the rings could look a lot like jellyfish.

"In science class we teach them about animals, and that includes fish other marine life," said Kelli Carter, third-grade teacher at B.D. Gullett. "They can apply what they've learned out here while they're fishing and gain great knowledge and experience they'll have for the rest of their lives."



The is the fifth year Mote has hosted this event.

Environment, News