On the final day of course activities the group headed out for the East China Sea Fishery Institute. At the institute, we received two guest lectures. First, Yimin Zhou spoke about efforts to protect Yangtze River, especially from illegal fishing. Main efforts are going into careful planning, monitoring and legislature, as well as educating the public on sustainable practices. Next, we heard from Zhang Yimo from the World Wildlife Foundation. Her work focused on the Beibayao Conservation Centre, which has reconstructed a wetland with the goal of providing a good ecosystem for travelling birds. Both guest lecturers’ efforts in conservation were inspiring.
We finished off our trip at East China Sea Fishery Institute by taking a tour of the museum they have on site. There were impressive preserved aquatic specimens, as well as birds and other animals living near or within aquatic systems. The bird models attracted the interest of a few of the young ornithologists in our group. The museum also displayed many of the techniques used for fishing, which was a great way to visualize the ecological impacts of large-scale fishing. Some of the more complicated nets like the “Gorth” net looked as if they could round up many aquatic species and really decimate the shoreline area.
Our last true course activity was to go to the sprawling fish market in Shanghai. Our task was to identify as many species as we could in about an hour. The teams set off. Using a combination of help from gracious Chinese teammates and some awkward miming, all of the students were able to ask the local fish mongers what species they had in stock. We saw plenty of cuttlefish, jellyfish, and eels. The live eels in crates filled a few streets and it was fascinating to watch the process of transferring them and preparing them to bring into the shops. While this activity was illuminating, it was also very smelly, and we were glad to head back to the hotel.
That evening, we went into the heart of Shanghai to have a delicious hot pot dinner. We enjoyed creating our sauces and trying (some of us for the first time) items such as cow’s stomach, duck’s blood, lotus root and cuttlefish. Overall, it was a great experience and our tables were full of laughter, recounting of stories, and a mix of Chinese and English conversation. Over the last few weeks some of the Chinese students mentioned they felt much more comfortable with English. The Canadian students picked up a few key phrases in Chinese, too. Most importantly, we had all forged international friendships and gained knowledge about each other’s countries, traditions, ecological practices and our unique approaches to conservation. After many toasts, thanks, pictures and parting words it was time to part ways. We left each other not with a “goodbye”, but a “see you soon”.
干杯 (Gānbēi), Cheers在最后一天我们的队伍前往东海渔业。在这个机构，我们听到了两位牛人的讲座。首先，Yimin Zhou谈到了保护长江所做的努力，特别是非法捕鱼。主要的措施是要仔细规划，监测和规范立法，以及教育公众对可持续发展的认识。接下来，我们听到世界野生动物基金会的Zhang Yimo。她的工作主要集中在北八滧保护中心，为迁徙的鸟类提供一个良好的生态重建湿地。这两位讲师在保护方面所做的努力都是鼓舞人心的。我们参观了中国东海海洋渔业，并参观了他们的博物馆。令人印象深刻是许多保存完好的水生动物标本，以及鸟类和其他生活在附近或在水生系统的动物标本。鸟的模型吸引了一些我们小队年轻的“鸟类学家”的兴趣。该博物馆还展示了许多用于捕鱼的器具，这是一个很棒的方式用来可视化的大型捕鱼的生态影响。一些更复杂的网，如“落网”仿佛能围捕许多水生物种并真正摧毁海岸线地区。我们最后一个课程活动是去上海的海鲜市场。我们的任务是在一个小时之内确定尽可能多的物种。队伍出发了。结合亲切的中国队友的帮助和一些简单的模仿，大家都了解了当地鱼贩卖的什么种类。我们看到很多的墨鱼、海蜇，和鳝鱼。活鳝鱼箱满几条街，这是多么令人兴奋可以看到转移过程并准备转运到商店。虽然这个活动很有启发性，但它也的确很臭，所以回到酒店我们很高兴。那天晚上，我们走进上海的核心区去吃美味的火锅晚餐。我们喜欢配置自己的佐料并尝试（有些人首次）毛肚，鸭血、莲藕、墨鱼。总的来说，这是一段很精彩的体验，我们的桌子旁都充满欢笑，叙事和混合的中文和英语对话。在过去的几周里，一些中国学生提到他们对英语的感觉越来越好。加拿大的学生也在汉语中也学到了一些重要的短语。最重要的是，我们都建立了国际友谊，并获得了彼此的国家，传统，生态实践和我们独特的保护方法的知识。经过多次敬酒，感谢，拍照和离别的时候分手的话。我们分开时留给彼此的不是“拜拜”，而是“很快会再见”。干杯（Gānbēi），干杯！