A children’s book to teach about Aquaculture importance in food, jobs and talent


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    ‘Carl’s Fish Farm: An Introduction to Aquaculture’ is the title of the latest book by children’s author K. Michelle Edge. The story, an educational picture book, is designed to introduce young readers to aquaculture and its possibilities as a source of sustainable food and future jobs and talent.

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    A family business

    Passionate about the environment, the book’s author, K. Michelle Edge, grew up on a fish farm in Soperton, GA USA, earned a degree in Natural Resources, and has worked in wildlife education centers, taught fish and wildlife management classes at a tech college, etc. As she says, “I’ve always been a wildlife educator in shape, form, or fashion”.

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    K. Michelle Edge, author of 'Carl's Fish Farm: An Introduction to Aquaculture'
    K. Michelle Edge, author of ‘Carl’s Fish Farm: An Introduction to Aquaculture’.

    Like her, Carl, a catfish and the main character in the story, has also grown up on a fish farm. From his hand – or should we say his fin? – the children will spend a day taking a tour of daily life on a South Georgia fish farm. Through his eyes they will see an overview of aquaculture in the United States with a look at the different species, but also how they are raised, how the ponds are organized, how the fish are handled and transported from one place to another, and so on. And, all this is always from a didactic point of view.

    “I think it is necessary to teach children about aquaculture because it not only connects them with nature and its processes, but also connects them with their food, including vegetables grown through hydroponics and aquaponics”, the author says.

    An industry with a future

    But, beyond species and farm operations, the book ‘Carl’s Fish Farm: An Introduction to Aquaculture’ also reviews the different job positions found in the industry.  Using different examples of aquaculture talent, such as those of her own family – Kim and Keith Edge are Michelle’s parents, and Ethan Edge is her brother -; the consultant & entertainer Bob Lusk; the founder & CEO of Minorities In Aquaculture, Imani Black; or Dr. Gary Burtle, among others, the story shows them as well future job possibilities for the children who read the book. “Aquaculture is also a booming industry according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and my guess is that jobs are available and will be readily available in this field”, she states.

    Moreover the biographies of these successful career-oriented individuals in the aquaculture community, and the illustrations of Carl, the catfish, the book contains real-life environmental photos (many of them are of K. Michelle Edge’s family farm), a glossary of common aquaculture words, and a list of job descriptions, so young readers can learn and imagine careers in the field.

    'Carl's Fish Farm: An Introduction to Aquaculture', an educational children’s picture book.
    ‘Carl’s Fish Farm: An Introduction to Aquaculture’, an educational children’s picture book.

    A family business for people like Michelle, the author, an industry with a future for all of us, and, of course, a sustainable source of food, jobs and talent. Aquaculture is all of this and now is also a children’s book you can find on Amazon (a free eBook will be available from May 6 to 8, 2022) or on the author’s website. And, like Carl, the catfish, says at the end of his story: “Now, go spread the word: Aquaculture is fun! Farming fish is important. Show folks how it’s done!”.

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