Seals (Primary)

SEALS
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Slide 1: Slide
Social StudiesHistory+34-6 Grade6th,7th Grade

This lesson contains 27 slides, with interactive quizzes, text slides and 1 video.

time-iconLesson duration is: 45 min

Introduction

Seals are under threat from a number of issues, including entanglement in abandoned fishing nets, plastic pollution, fishing industry and hunted for fur and skins.

Instructions

In this lesson we will be talking about seals and learning about the issues impacting their survival.

Time: 45 minutes

Contact: education@seashepherdglobal.org
© Sea Shepherd 2021

Items in this lesson

SEALS

Slide 1 - Slide

This lesson is provided by Sea Shepherd. Sea Shepherd is a marine conservation organisation with a mission to protect the ocean and marine wildlife.  Sea Shepherd works globally on a range of issues impacting the ocean, running numerous direct action campaigns each year.  Seals are one species that Sea Shepherd protects.
What you already know...
You are going to learn...
Action required!

Evaluate your knowledge

Click on the image

Watch  the video

Slide 2 - Slide

During the lesson we will use these icons to identify the learning actions.
Introduction to IUU fishing and the impact of overfishing.
Seals and the issues threatening their survival.

Slide 3 - Slide

In this lesson we will be talking about seals and learning about the issues impacting their survival.

INTERACTIVE JOIN – ask students to go to www.LessonUp.app


Slide 4 - Video

Empty ocean by 2050
Scientists estimate that by 2050 the ocean ecosystem will be on the verge of collapse, empty of fish and marine wildlife, unless urgent action is taken on the issues impacting the ocean and marine wildlife.

Show this video (2.53min), which explains how important all species are to our planet.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLcA31VRlRU

Discuss the video with the class and what it means.


Over 100 million tons of fish caught each year.
33 species of pinnipeds - seals, sea lions and walrus.

Slide 5 - Slide

Pinnipeds
There are around 33 species in the pinniped family.

Pinnipeds include seals, sea lions and walruses.


What do you already
know about seals?

Slide 6 - Mind map

Seal species
Ask students to answer the following question using www.LessonUp.app or discuss in the classroom.  

“What do you know about seal species?


Crabeater Seal
Harp Seal
Grey Seal
Australian Sealion

Slide 7 - Drag question

Match the images
Using www.LessonUp.app ask students to match the image of the seal to its name.

Over 100 million tons of fish caught each year.
What are the differences between seals and sea lions?

Slide 8 - Slide

Seal or Sea lions
Seals and sea lions, are both from the Pinniped family, but they have different features.  Ask students to identify the key differences?

Sea lions
  • Can walk on land using large flippers.
  • Are noisier – bark loudly.
  • Visible ear flaps.
  • Hind flippers rotate under body when on land.
  • Use front flippers when swimming.
  • Brown colouring.

Seals
  • Smaller front flippers
  • Wriggle on bellies when on land.
  • Lack the ear flaps, ear hole visible.
  • Hind flippers point out.
  • Fur covered long claws on hind flippers.
  • Seals use hinder flippers when swimming.
  • White to grey or black in colour.


What food sources do seals eat?

Slide 9 - Open question

What do seals eat?
Ask students to answer the following question using www.LessonUp.app or discuss in the classroom.  

“What do seals eat?”

  • Fish, squid and krill.
  • Some actually eat other seals and penguins – leopard seals.

Over 100 million tons of fish caught each year.
How do seals breathe underwater?

Slide 10 - Slide

How do seals breathe
How do seals breathe underwater?

They actually exhale oxygen before diving, then they use the oxygen in their blood stream.  Seals can slow their heart rate and breathing when they are under water.

While they may only dive for a few minutes at a time, seals can stay underwater for much longer.

Elephant seals can stay under water for up to two hours.


Over 100 million tons of fish caught each year.
What role do seals play in the ocean ecosystem?

Slide 11 - Slide

Importance to the ocean
Seals are one of the top predators in the marine ecosystem, helping to maintain the balance. They feed on fish species that are predatory and can disrupt the balance if not kept in check.


Illegal Fishing
Illegal fishing means that the fishermen enter the territorial waters of a country or regulated marine zone without permission or without a license for the fish they intend to catch.

They are stealing from these waters.
HUNTING SEALS
Targeted by humans for centuries for fur/skins, meat and blubber for oil.


Canadian seal hunt targets 400,000 harp seals each year.

Slide 12 - Slide

Hunting seals
Seals have been the target of hunters for many centuries and are still being hunted for commercial reasons in some countries.

Hunters have been responsible for wiping out many colonies over the years, both in the southern and northern hemisphere.  This has left some species with significantly reduced populations which have only started to recover since the 1980’s.

Seals are hunted for their fur/skins, for meat and the blubber for seal oil. Seal oil is used in capsules and marketed as fish oil supplements.  

The Canadian seal hunt is the most well known. With an annual quota of 400,000 harp seals.

Over 100 million tons of fish caught each year.
Conflict with fisheries.

Slide 13 - Slide

Conflict with fisheries
Feeding on fish, as a main food source, seals often come into conflict with fishermen and have been the target of hunters looking to wipe out complete populations.

Seals will eat cod, salmon and sea trout, and the fishermen therefore regard them as competition.

It is natural for seals to feed on fish, yet globally domestic cats consumer more fish than seals do.



Do you think it is right that fishermen target
seals for eating their natural food source - fish?

Slide 14 - Open question

Conflict with fisheries
Ask students answer via www.LessonUp.app or discuss in classroom:

“Do you think it is right that fishermen target seals for eating fish as their natural prey?”


If fish numbers are reducing
in an area, what do you think
the causes might be?

Slide 15 - Mind map

Reasons for reducing fish numbers
Ask students answer via www.LessonUp.app or discuss in classroom:

 “If fish numbers are reducing in an area what do you think the causes might be?”

  • Overfishing of fish species by humans.
  • More predators are moving into the area, after their usual feeding areas have been overfished.
  • Environmental changes – pollution or changing climate warming the waters.
  • Local marine species populations are starting to recover, after populations had previously been wiped out by hunters.

Over 100 million tons of fish caught each year.
By-catch in commercial fishing nets or long lines.

Slide 16 - Slide

By-catch in nets and long lines
Seals are often caught as by-catch in the nets of the commercial fishing industry.  By-catch means that they are not the intended catch. Seals may be released from the nets, but do not always survive the experience.  

Long lines are more dangerous for seals. Baited hooks entice them into a free fed, soon finding themselves caught on the hook.

The use of illegal nets types, in areas where seals feed, can result in them becoming entangled and drown.


Over 100 million tons of fish caught each year.
Entangled in abandoned, lost or dumped fishing gear.

Slide 17 - Slide

Abandoned, lost and dumped fishing gear
ALD fishing gear or ghost nets as they are referred to, are difficult to see in the water, trapping seals as well as other marine wildlife.

For more information on this topic see the Lesson: Abandoned, Lost and Discarded fishing gear.


Over 100 million tons of fish caught each year.
Oil spills and chemical pollution.

Slide 18 - Slide

Oil spills and chemical pollution
Oil disasters can leave marine wildlife coated in oil and making it impossible to breathe.  The dispersants used to break up oil on the surface causes the oil to drop to the seafloor, coating the ocean floor in a sludge.  The dispersants are also toxic for marine animals. Making the oil disappear from the surface, does not mean the problem is solved. It’s still there, literally under the surface.


Illegal Fishing
Illegal fishing means that the fishermen enter the territorial waters of a country or regulated marine zone without permission or without a license for the fish they intend to catch.

They are stealing from these waters.
PLASTIC POLLUTION
Each year over 12 million tonnes of trash enter the ocean.


What do you think happens if seals find rubbish in the ocean?.

Slide 19 - Slide

Plastic pollution
Plastic pollution is an issue for all marine wildlife.  

Each year over 12 million tonnes of trash finds its way into the ocean, adding to pollution already in the ocean.

Ask students:  “What do you think happens if seals find rubbish in the ocean?”

Seals can’t always distinguish the difference between rubbish and food, and when they do it might be too late and they may have already swallowed it or been caught up in it.  

Plastic pollution kills millions of marine animals each year.

How do you think you can
help protect seals?

Slide 20 - Mind map

How can you help seals?
Ask students to answer via www.LessonUp.app or discuss in classroom.

“How do you think you can help protect seals?”

Illegal Fishing
Illegal fishing means that the fishermen enter the territorial waters of a country or regulated marine zone without permission or without a license for the fish they intend to catch.

They are stealing from these waters.
WAYS TO HELP PROTECT SEALS
➢    Advocate against seal hunts and the killing of seals by fisheries.
➢    Reduce consumption of fish.
➢    Help fight illegal fishing.
➢    Help create ways to stop fishing gear being left in the ocean.
➢    Help fight plastic pollution.

Slide 21 - Slide

Ways to help protect seals
Ways to help protect seals:
  • Speak out against seal hunts and the killing of seals by fisheries.
  • Reduce consumption of fish.
  • Help fight illegal fishing.
  • Help create ways to stop fishing gear being left in the ocean.
  • Help fight plastic pollution – reducing single use plastics and doing beach clean ups.


Name five threats to seals?

Slide 22 - Open question

Ask students to answer via www.LessonUp.app or discuss in classroom.

“Name 5 threats to seals?”



Identify three differences between
seals and sea lions?

Slide 23 - Open question

Ask students to answer via www.LessonUp.app or discuss in classroom.

“Identify 3 differences between seals and sea lions?”



Write down three things you have learned?

Slide 24 - Open question

What did you learn?
Ask students to answer the following question using www.LessonUp.app or discuss in the classroom.  

“Write down three things you have learned?”



Write down one thing you didn't understand?

Slide 25 - Open question

What don’t you understand?
Ask students to answer the following question using www.LessonUp.app or discuss in the classroom.  

“Write down one thing you didn’t understand?”


Slide 26 - Slide

Sea Shepherd Case Studies cover a number of Sea Shepherd campaigns and show video of some of our work to protect seals.  These can be used to enhance the learning experience from these lessons.

www.seashepherdglobal.org

Slide 27 - Slide

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