On Saturday April 27th, 2019 nearly 94,000 people attended Rutgers Day where the Rutgers Student Subunit offered a fish printing activity for guests of all ages. Fish printing, more formally known as Gyotaku, originated in Japan where fishermen would make prints of fish in order to keep detailed records of the species and sizes of the fish they caught.
Although the “fish” used for this activity were not real (they were actually made of rubber), Subunit members were still able to engage participants in a fun activity while teaching them about the creatures they were painting. While we certainly had some enthusiastic adults make fish prints, children were the main participants in this activity with the seastar being their favorite rubber sea creature to print.
In addition to the Subunit table, our colleagues at the Center for Fisheries and Ocean Sustainability had an interactive fish identification game, a short trivia quiz, and demonstrations of field gear fisheries scientists use. On top of that, the Oceanography Graduate Student Association hosted a Jersey coast touch tank filled with local fish and invertebrate species, which drew a large crowd. Overall, Rutgers Day was a success and Subunit members certainly played a large part in educating the public about fish and fisheries.
Our participation in Rutgers Day would not have been possible without the support of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the American Fisheries Society and Jenny Shinn at the Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory.