Save Me!

Posted July 27th, 2012 in Tuna News by ManaakiTuna

This article was kindly written and supplied by Donna Palmer of Te Awamutu Intermediate.

Room 6, Te Awamutu Intermediate, went on a class trip to see the ‘We Love Eels’ exhibition at Te Awamutu Museum. The students were moved by what they discovered about the Longfin eel, and were disappointed that they could not sign the petition (being under 18 years old). Back in the classroom, the students hit on a plan.

They would create a banner and get all the students at school to sign it, in a way, creating their own petition, urging the government to make the Longfin eel a protected species. It was explained that if you ask people to sign their name to something, it was important that they know what they are signing for. They must be informed and educated about the issue, and then be allowed to make a decision for themselves. The question then was, how can we pass on to the rest of the school what we have learned about the Longfin eel? Another plan was hatched by the students!

Save the Long Fin

Students from Room 6, with Claire Ashmore from the Te Awamutu Museum, and their teacher, Donna Palmer

Essentially, they hijacked the school assembly…peacefully it must be noted. They carried out a multimedia presentation. The School Council were netted up, representing the Longfin eels which are caught and harvested. Replica Longfin eels were displayed , and one student had the whole school enthralled as he was carried in , wriggling in a large sack. Many students are still convinced that there was an actual Longfin on stage.

Students signing the banner

Students signing the banner

A documentary slide show was played, highlighting the remarkable attributes of the Longfin eel, and the dilemma of possible extinction which it faces. Informative flyers, which the students had published, were handed out.

The students have collected over 400 signatures on their banner, and now are hoping that they can present their petition to somebody who will listen, and can help them achieve their goal of saving the Longfin eel.