TEACHING THE NEXT GENERATION TO FARM OUR SEAS During the great famine in Ireland, many people were facing starvation after their potato crops failed; many of these turned to the sea and found a rich source of nutrition and protein, which sustained them through those dark years. In early 2015 the population of the planet exceeded 7 billion, leaving many experts to ask the question, how do we feed the planet against this rising population? This question becomes all the more pressing in the light of predictions of future global population trends, with many experts in the field, stating that the world population would exceed 9 billion by 2050, and may exceed 11 billion by the turn of the century. We are facing into an issue of managing our scarce resources, which includes food, water and energy and managing these resources to feed and sustain the world. The food that traditionally sustained this world was mostly farmed in a traditional manner, on farmland animals were raised for slaughter and vegetables were harvested from the soil. However landmass on this planet only account for 30 percent of the surface of the earth the other 70 percent is the oceans, which have complex eco-systems capable of supporting many species, both animal and plant and these species can be used to help meet future food needs. The oceans the saltwater depositories holds ninety seven percent of the water of the planet, the other three percent is fresh water depositories. However only three percent of the fresh water on this planet is available for human consumption, as ninety seven percent of the fresh water is frozen in glaciers and in the great ice packs in the polar regions of the earth or trapped in ground water. So the world faces a duel problem of not only having limited food resources to feed an increasing population, but also the pressing issues of ensuring that there is an adequate fresh water supply across the globe. We need to provide food and water to all species on the planet, the key to making this a reality is through education, we need to educate our young, our next generation, so they can carry this important mission forward. To look to the seas, our vast oceans, so we can sustainably utilise the resources within these oceans. With this in mind we propose to run a pilot within the primary and secondary school sector, which will introduce our school children to the world of bio-marine, to the great advantages of sea vegetables and to the many uses of sea plants, which can be utilised across many fields. Also we will highlight the many benefits of eating marine produce, such as oily fish, shellfish and crustaceans, which are packed with those essential fatty acids, which could offer huge health benefits to the next generation. We also intend to educate the student to the use of raw materials, such as the shells from shellfish, which can be utilised to produce calcium carbonate (limestone), where it can be recycled as a building material in the construction industry, along with other uses. Also we will educate pupils about how the waste materials from the processing of fish and sea plants can be utilised to the benefit of society, rather than being disposed of in traditional waste disposal venues. This pilot is followed by European agencies involved in education and the bio-marine sciences, which are campaigning to get bio-marine sciences onto the national education curriculums at primary and secondary level across Europe. By running this pilot in Mayo we intend to support a pan-European initiative, by opening education pathways to bio-marine sciences to pupils in the primary and secondary sector; which would open avenues to employment within bio-marine industries. The reality is that we face a problem of feeding the world with an ever-increasing human population, but we should not lose hope, we should turn again to the sea, to that of our greatest natural resource. The sea saved many Irish in past and it will do so again, provided we manage it correctly and farm the sea in a sustainable manner. We as a nation owe it to ourselves and to the next generation to make this a reality. So let us embrace this initiative and open young minds to the world of the bio-marine. Red Rose Developments