Marketing local seafood through education in Northern Ireland | News & Blogs | Seafish

Marketing local seafood through education in Northern Ireland

Our Regional Manager in Northern Ireland talks about a project promoting local seafood to inspire the chefs of the future.

The Marketing Seafood Through Education (MaSTE) project aims to see seafood featuring on more menus across Northern Ireland over the long term. The aim for the project is to inspire the next generation of chefs and foodservice professionals.

group of class participants wearing aprons
MaSTE classes took place in Belfast Cookery School from 2019 to 2023

Over the past 4 years we have been collaborating with Belfast Cookery School on the MaSTE project. We worked with colleges and schools from across Northern Ireland to educate students and teachers about locally available seafood. 

Between 2019 and 2023, 637 home economics teachers, college students and chef lecturers have taken part in 44 seafood MaSTErclasses delivered by Belfast Cookery School. These classes were funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (administered by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs).

Participants learned from the experts about various types of seafood and where to source it. They got hands on in the kitchen to prepare different species of shellfish, have a go at fish filleting and created some delicious seafood dishes. Watch the video below to find out more about the classes.

The feedback we received was very positive, with Home Economics teachers pledging to share their learnings with pupils:

“The Seafood MaSTErclass was an excellent experience. I was able to increase my knowledge and understanding of fish preparation and cookery and learnt so many new skills that I can take back to the classroom.”

Alongside the practical kitchen-based sessions, participants also received a copy of our Seafood Guide. These comprehensive guides cover everything from species provenance, seasonality and responsible sourcing, to processing and handling techniques, nutrition, yields, cuts and quality indicators. Essentially everything that chefs, retailers and caterers need to know about seafood!

But the learning doesn’t stop with the classes. We also created a suite of videos which students and teachers can use to continue to practise their seafood cookery skills and learn about the Northern Ireland seafood industry. These videos are available on our YouTube channel from the link below:

We hope that as a result of MaSTE, new entrants to the sector will bring with them an enhanced understanding, knowledge and passion for seafood and in doing so, support our local seafood industry.  For further information about this project, please contact me on or call 07866 141 872.