Schools film their fish futures
Students are diving into action to produce short films documenting what fisheries mean to them and their communities
By Ilaria Catizone
A community’s appetite for fresh, sustainable seafood, an afternoon spent angling, or steps to reduce plastics in our oceans – these are all potential subjects for the FRDC’s Little Fish Films Competition for school students aged nine to 13 years.
It is a global competition and, in October 2020, the best entries will be screened before an international audience at the World Fisheries Congress in Adelaide.
Entries opened on 1 March and will close on 30 June, giving students four months to put together short films between 60 and 120 seconds long.
As part of this challenge, students are encouraged to explore the significance of fish and fishing in their own communities, and in other communities worldwide. For as long as there have been people, there has been fishing. Today, the fishing industry accounts for 59.6 million jobs and represents $362 billion of the global economy. Millions of people, particularly small-scale fishers and poorer communities, rely on fishing as a primary source of income and protein.
This competition aims to raise the younger generation’s awareness of the cultural, economic and environmental significance of fishing and the aquatic environment.
The FRDC will partner with international organisations, such as Seafish (UK) and the National Fisheries Institute (USA), to encourage entries from other countries.
Entries will be coordinated through schools and students submitting the best movies will be rewarded with an exclusive seafood adventure in their area, such as visiting an aquaculture facility or their nearest marine discovery centre, or perhaps a visit from a seafood hero like a fisher or filmmaker.
The winners will be announced at the World Fisheries Congress 2020 in Adelaide, which has the theme ‘Sharing our oceans and rivers – a vision for the world’s fisheries’.
The Little Fish Films Competition aims to harness students’ creativity and love for technology to engage them in conversations about the future of fisheries.
Using film (including animation) as their medium, students will explore:
- what are fisheries to your community?
- the future of seafood; or
- looking after our aquatic world.
In making their films, students will be able to explore how the marine environment influences their lives culturally, economically and as a source of food. They will also be able to imagine what the future of seafood might look like, and in doing so understand how important it is to look after our aquatic world to ensure its ongoing health and productivity.
Little Fish Films will run from an online platform that has been created specifically to engage a younger age group.
Online tools will help schools and their students share ideas and learn from each other, thus building a sense of community. This will include discussion of FRDC projects, lesser-known fish species and important concepts related to the aquatic world, such as plastics, sustainability and pollution.
Subscribers to the Little Fish Film Competition newsletter will receive regular updates about the competition, including topics for classroom discussions and resources on filmmaking, storytelling styles and the competition’s themes.