Youth Program

Subcategories from this category: Green

By Emily Hart

In the last week of sailing school, we explored different fishing strategies and their effects on fish populations. We had a great time playing games! For example, to investigate hook and line fishing (pole fishing) our “fisherman” threw a very soft ball into a sea of students who were either tuna, turtles or dolphins. We also investigated gillnetting, long-lining and bottom trawling through different simulations with ropes and beads.

We explored the concept of bycatch through these games, which is unwanted fish or other marine creatures that are unintentionally caught during fishing. The bycatch issue was first brought to light in the 1960s when high numbers of dolphins began to be caught in tuna nets. A successful campaign ensued and most canned tuna in stores is now “dolphin safe”. More recently, bottom trawling for shrimp has extremely high bycatch rates, with the highest found to be 20 bycatch organisms for every one shrimp. We kept track of our bycatch rates during our fishing simulations and found that hook and line fishing has the lowest rates of bycatch, in comparison to gillnetting, long-lining and trawling.

At the end of our sessions, I talked with the students about choosing sustainable seafood. Each student received a copy of the Seafood Watch guide produced by the Monterey Bay Aquarium to help them and their families make seafood choices. Check out the website, print out a pocket guide or download their free app: http://www.seafoodwatch.org. The New England Aquarium also has excellent programs in fisheries conservation and bycatch, check them out: http://www.neaq.org/conservation_and_research/projects/fisheries_bycatch_aquaculture/bycatch/index.php

in Green

By Emily Gaylord

During my many years at Courageous, I have had the pleasure of working with many different children. The one part of Courageous that I have not spent much time with is SwimSailScience (SSS) and Summer Learning Project. This past Wednesday I had an amazing experience with some of the kids from those programs.

Apart from sailing, I have a few other hobbies that I enjoy. One of these is playing the ukulele and singing. Some days I bring my ukulele in to Courageous to play during lunch or before the kids show up. On Wednesday I was playing the ukulele outside the boathouse when I began to notice that I had an audience. Slowly, I saw a few SSS kids gravitate towards the music. I was playing a song that they knew and a few kids started singing with me. Before I knew it, there was a large group surrounding me and singing along.

If you don’t know much about the SSS program, these are mainly kids from the inner city. A lot of these kids are pegged as “bad kids” and “troublemakers,” and Courageous gives them the amazing opportunity to learn sailing. This session was a particularly difficult group of students but they went silent and were fascinated by the music.

This experience showed me that no matter where a kid comes from or what their home or school life is like, they are just like any other child. They are looking for things to learn and always want to have fun. I was reminded of being a kid myself when I saw how happy they were just to be singing and listening to music at sailing camp.