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Mussel researchers- Μυδοερευνητές

The problem
Mussel farms and climate change are affecting local ecosystem.
The solution
Information and environmental awareness, local coast cleaning
The prototype
Coast cleaning in collaboration with the municipality, create mussel board game
The societal actors
Oceanographer, local cooperatives, Environmental organizations, chef

Hosted by SALL , contributed by karydias on 10 February 2022

Through this project we will try to investigate the connection between mussel farming, climate change and local ecosystem.

First of all, we will define what marine ecosystem is and what we consider as healthy ecosystem. Then we will talk about mussels, how they are raised, what are the appropriate conditions and places for mussel farms and what is their role in the food chain. With the Local Mussel Farmers Cooperative we will visit the port of the area where they are going to show us the process of collecting mussels and after that the place where peel and pack the mussels. Then we will talk about satellites and their importance and through satellite images we will locate the mussel farms in our area. By help and knowledge of a local environmental organization we will visit a neighbouring observatory where we will observe with binoculars the extent of mussel farming that we saw on satellite images. The organization will inform us about the pollution caused in the area and at the end of Spring together with the Municipality we will take action by organizing an action of cleaning the local coast and inform local community. Implementing mathematics and arts we will create a questionnaire to be shared to local community so as to detect opinions and have a research on that. Furthermore we will try to create a simulation of a mussel farm by using everyday materials and things that mussel farmers use (like nets, barrels, mussel shells etc). Finally at the end of school year we plan to organise a "Mussel- day" and show to local community our work and our project and having a chef cooking and sharing recipes with mussels. Through the whole plan we have the theoretical guidance from an external scientific partner, an oceanographer.

 

Mussel farms and climate change.

Thermaikos gulf and the area of Makrygialos is known for its mussel farms. Makrygialos is a village of 2000 people and our school is a small school of about 90 students. Most of our student's parents work on mussel farms and local community depends almost directly on them. However, pollution is observed in the sea and surrounding coasts, while in recent years mussel crops are also threatened with destruction due to rising sea temperatures. Last two years students with their families are leaving Makrygialos for other places because there has been a significant reduction in mussel production. We will investigate why there is pollution in the local ecosystem and how it could be eliminated. Then we will investigate the connection between the destruction of mussel farms last two years and the rise of sea temperature and how it is linked to climate change. Finally, we will try to propose solutions so that both mussel farms and local community continue to exist in a healthy environment.

 

By protecting the environment, we are protecting ourselves and our lives.

The aim of the living lab project is for students and the local community to realize that the environment is inextricably linked to the lives and well-being of residents.

By protecting the environment and following the right process in mussel farming, mussel growers will not only continue to exist as a profession but will also help to alleviate the climate crisis.

Learn- Create- Act

Through the whole project we have the theoretical guidance from an external scientific partner, graduate student Department of Oceanography and Marine Life Sciences Aegean University, PhD candidate at University of Aberdeen in order to help us define a healthy marine ecosystem and what is the appropriate habitat for breeding mussels.

Local mussels farmers cooperative will show us the stages of breeding mussels visiting local port.

Environmental organization will inform us about marine ecosystems and how pollution and climate change affects mussel farms and marine ecosystem.

A local business will show us the stages of opening and processing mussels.

Co- organize with Local Municipality an action of cleaning local coast of Makrygialos.

A famous chef will cook and share with local community recipes with mussels.

Let's learn by playing!

We first discussed the name and logo of our team. The children created it, painted it and agreed that from now on this will be our "signature"! Then we started talking about marine ecosystems. The students had photos of congested and healthy marine ecosystems and put them in the correct position, while drawing both versions. Then we introduced mussels and mussel farms. After that the children created a questionnaire with questions made up by themselves to find out what local people know and think about our topics. Students have already collected questionnaires and are very excited to hand them out to their families and to their village. Last time we took it little further and we talked about satellites, their species, their use and how we can use them in our research.