THE Wickham waterfront became a classroom this week for Newcastle Grammar School students to learn about the fishing industry.
The year 6 students visited the Newcastle Commercial Fisherman’s Co-op to watch trawlers unloading, meet fishermen, examine the day’s catch, visit the shop and mend nets as part of OceanWatch Australia’s Seafood Industry Partnerships in Schools program.
Co-op general manager Robert Gauta said OceanWatch Australia approached them to run the program after it was successfully launched in Tasmania and Sydney last year.
‘‘The aim is to teach students about the local fishing industry, different types of fish caught locally and fishing sustainability,’’ Mr Gauta said.
It is aligned to the school curriculum and shows how geography and science can be applied in real life.
Mr Gauta said it could even lead to careers in the industry.
‘‘It’s not just about catching fish in the ocean, you could be a fishing co-op manager, work in fisheries research, a marine scientist, marine biologist, boat builder, carpenter or electrician – there’s a whole industry.’’
The co-op will have a stand at the Newcastle Regional Show to demonstrate the program.