Polluting the Ocean (Primary)

POLLUTING THE OCEAN
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Slide 1: Slide
Social StudiesHistory+34-6 Grade6th,7th Grade

This lesson contains 33 slides, with interactive quizzes, text slides and 2 videos.

time-iconLesson duration is: 45 min

Introduction

Pollution is flooding into the ocean each year, from toxic waste to plastic pollution. Creating a toxic hazard for marine wildlife. In this lesson we discuss the issue of pollution, how it ends up in the ocean and the impact on marine wildlife.

Instructions

During this lesson we will look at why pollution is an issue and how the ocean gets polluted.

Time: 45 minutes

Contact: education@seashepherdglobal.org
© Sea Shepherd 2021

Items in this lesson

POLLUTING THE OCEAN

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.  Ocean pollution is one area Sea Shepherd is addressing in order to protect marine wildlife.
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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.
Pollution and how it ends up in the ocean.

Slide 3 - Slide

During this lesson we will look at why pollution is an issue and how the ocean gets polluted.

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.


What do you already
know about pollution
in the ocean?

Slide 5 - Mind map

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

 “What do you already know about pollution in the ocean?”

What are five types of
pollution that end up
in the ocean?

Slide 6 - Mind map

Types of pollution
Ask students to answer the following question using www.LessonUp.app or discuss in the classroom.  

 “What are 5 types of pollution that end up in the ocean?”

Over 100 million tons of fish caught each year.
What is ocean pollution?

Slide 7 - Slide

What is ocean pollution?
Ocean pollution comes in many different forms, from chemicals, oil spills, noise pollution, fishing gear, wood, metal, glass, paper to plastics.


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

Up to 90% of marine debris is plastic based.

Plastic based debris
  • Micro fibers
  • Nurdles
  • Micro beads
  • Glitter

Slide 8 - Slide

Plastic pollution
There are actually thousands of types of plastics made today, all with a specific purpose in mind.   Most are made from chemical substances that, when submerged in water, could leach chemicals into the environment.  

Up to 90% of marine debris is believed to be plastic based.

There are different ways plastic ends up in the ocean. These are some that you may not know:
  • A lot of clothing is partially made of plastic. When these clothes are washed, small pieces of plastic start to break off and are washed down the drain. These are called microfibers.
  • Nurdles are small plastic pellets that are used to manufacture plastic products. This way the plastic is easier to transport and integrate into manufacturing than sheets or blocks of plastic. When containers full of plastic pellets are lost at sea, these plastic pellets are often found washing up on beaches and coastlines.  
  • Micro beads are used in products like facial cleansers, scrubs, shower gels and toothpaste.  It is likely that when cleaning your teeth you are washing plastic beads down the drain.  Some countries are now banning micro beads and demand natural alternatives to be used.
  • Glitter also washes straight down the drain and into the ocean harming marine wildlife. There are non plastic alternatives that can be used instead.

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.
ABANDONED, LOST AND DISCARDED FISHING GEAR
Up to 46% plastic in North Pacific gyre is fishing gear. Over 20% globally.

➢    Abandoned –  means deliberate non retrieval of fishing gear.
➢    Discarded – deliberate disposal at sea of fishing gear.
➢    Lost – means accidental loss at sea.

Slide 9 - Slide

Abandoned, Lost and Discarded fishing gear
Abandoned, Lost and Discarded fishing gear makes up a significant portion of plastic in the ocean.

Researchers found that around 46% of plastic in the North Pacific is from commercial fishing gear. Globally over a fifth of the plastic in the ocean comes from commercial fishing gear.

What does ALD mean?
  • Abandoned –  means deliberate non retrieval of fishing gear, intentionally left behind.
  • Discarded – deliberate disposal of fishing gear. Damaged or illegal gear thrown overboard before heading to port.
  • Lost – means accidental lost at sea, for instance during a storm.

For more information on fishing gear, refer to the lesson: Abandoned, Lost and Discarded fishing gear.

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.
HOW BIG IS THE ISSUE?

Each year 640,000 tonnes of ALD fishing gear ends up in the ocean.

Each year over 12 million tonnes of trash finds its way into the ocean = one garbage truck every 40 seconds.

Slide 10 - Slide

How big is the issue?
640,000 tonnes of abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear ends up in the ocean each year.

Each year over 12 million metric tonnes of trash finds its way into the ocean.  This is the equivalent of at least one garbage truck full of plastic rubbish every 40 seconds being dumped into the ocean. (That is 788,400, garbage trucks of rubbish every year, at approx 15.2 tons per truck).

The amount of rubbish going into the ocean is still increasing. In the coming years this could soon be two garbage trucks a minute.  This poses a huge risk for marine wildlife that either ingests or becomes entangled in the rubbish.

Why is pollution in the
ocean an issue?

Slide 11 - Mind map

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

 “Why is pollution in the ocean an issue?”

Slide 12 - Video

Trashed ocean
One of the concerns with plastic pollution is that marine wildlife may mistake it for food and tries to eat it, or will eat it by accident.

Marine wildlife naturally is not familiar with plastic. Can you image being a baleen whale feeding and ending on krill and fish, but also scooping up plastic bags and other rubbish.

Show this video (1.33mins) and then discuss how it makes the students feel, realizing this is what marine wildlife are putting up with everyday.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0_8vBijO1s&t=6s

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 STUDIES

➢    44% of marine mammals and 86% of turtle species are estimated to have plastic in their stomach.

➢    80% of seabird species ingest plastic, 90% of birds in those species had plastics in their stomach.

➢    99% of the world's seabirds species will be ingesting plastic by 2050 if current marine pollution trends continue.

Slide 13 - Slide

Plastic studies
Scientific studies on plastic pollution are revealing frightening results:
  • 44% of marine mammals and 86% of turtle species are estimated to have plastic in their stomach.
  • 80% of seabird species ingest plastic,
  • 99% of the world's seabirds species will be ingesting plastic by 2050 if current marine pollution is not stopped.

Over 100 million tons of fish caught each year.
Entangled in fishing gear.

Slide 14 - Slide

Entangled in fishing gear
Entanglement in fishing gear:
  • Marine wildlife gets entangled in nets and lines and can’t escape.
  • Migrating whales become entangled in cray pots and traps. Dragging along the fishing gear will tire out the whale.

Over 100 million tons of fish caught each year.
Chemical pollution.

Slide 15 - Slide

Chemical pollution
  • Everything from household chemicals, agricultural chemicals and pesticides ends up in the ocean.
  • Oil disasters and the chemicals used for clean ups.
  • Industrial chemicals dumped or leaking into waterways or the ocean.

Ask students: “what impact do you thin chemicals in the ocean will have on marine wildlife?”
  • High levels of chemicals, like mercury, PCB’s, DDT and other chemicals found in fish, especially apex predators – whales, dolphins, sharks and tuna.
  • Long term impacts on the health of species.

What kind of chemicals do you
think end up in the ocean,
where do they come from?

Slide 16 - Mind map

Chemical pollution
Ask students answer via www.LessonUp.app or discuss in classroom:

“What kind of chemicals do they think end up in the ocean, where do they come from?”
  • Household cleaning products.
  • Cigarettes butts.
  • Medications.
  • Pesticides, herbicides and weed killer used by the agriculture industry.
  • Industrial chemicals from factories.
  • Chemicals that leach from plastics.
  • Sunscreen – chemicals in sunscreens are damaging coral reefs and kill fish.
  • Petrol chemicals – oils and fuels from cars and boats.

How do you think pollution
ends up in the ocean?

Slide 17 - Mind map

How does pollution end up in the ocean?
Ask students answer via www.LessonUp.app or discuss in classroom:

 “How do you think pollution end up in the ocean? “

Over 100 million tons of fish caught each year.
Washed away.

Slide 18 - Slide

Washed away
Down the drain:  Some plastics and chemicals are washed down household drains such as micro plastics like micro beads, glitter and micro fibers from clothes, and cleaning products.

Left on beaches: Visitors to beaches leave behind their rubbish, which is washed into the ocean with the tide, or blown into the ocean by the wind.

Dumped on streets, parks or school grounds: The wind or rain blow and move it into stormwater drains, creeks and rivers, eventually leading to the ocean.

Over 100 million tons of fish caught each year.
Tourists leaving behind.

Slide 19 - Slide

Tourists
Tourists leaving rubbish behind.

Some tourist destinations are island nations who have limited facilities to manage waste.  Visiting tourists leave behind their waste for locals to remove. Rubbish dumps are close to the water and could be wash into the ocean during storms.

Over 100 million tons of fish caught each year.
Dumped or lost overboard.

Slide 20 - Slide

Dumped
Intentionally dumped into the ocean by individuals or companies in order to save money. Instead of disposing of rubbish or chemicals properly it is dumped into waterways or directly into the ocean.

Dumped by factories
Not all countries are set up with proper waste or hazard management facilities. There are still areas where factories simply dump their waste, chemicals and rubbish into rivers.

Dumped into waterways by communities
Not all countries are set up with proper waste management facilities. When there are no waste removal procedures in place, communities will dump their rubbish into rivers for it to be taken away.

Over 100 million tons of fish caught each year.
Deliberate dumping.

Slide 21 - Slide

Overboard
Dumped overboard from ships – cruise ships
While cruise ships are required to manage their waste and offload it in port, some are still dumping it overboard when in international waters, when no one is watching.  Dumping at sea saves them money.

Lost overboard from cargo ships – during storms containers fall overboard.

During severe weather and rough seas it is possible for shipping containers to come loose and topple overboard. These may sink, or break open and the contents gets into the ocean and may wash up on beaches.


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

Slide 22 - Slide

Oil spills
Oil leaking from oilrigs or ships after an accident.  These can leak into the ocean for days before clean ups can properly stop the oil from entering into the ocean.

Ask students: “What they think the impacts of oil spills would be on marine wildlife and the ecosystem?”


Over 100 million tons of fish caught each year.
Natural disasters.

Slide 23 - Slide

Natural disasters
Major floods, storms, cyclones, tornadoes and tsunamis washing household items into waterways and the ocean.

During heavy weather homes and businesses can be flooded or blown away, with items ending up in the ocean.



Where in the ocean do you think you can
find plastic waste and other pollution?

Slide 24 - Open question

Where in the ocean?
Ask students answer via www.LessonUp.app or discuss in classroom:

 “Where in the ocean do you think you can find plastics and other pollution?”

Everywhere!  Micro plastics and chemicals are being found in marine wildlife in most of the ocean, from the Artic to Antarctica.  They are even finding plastic and other rubbish at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

The Mariana Trench is located in the western pacific ocean and is the deepest place on earth at nearly 11,000 meters or around 36,000 feet (almost 7 miles) deep.


Over 100 million tons of fish caught each year.
Five gyres and ocean currents.

Slide 25 - Slide

Five gyres and ocean currents
Once trash and pollution reaches the ocean it gets caught up in ocean currents and may be moved out into the gyres.  

Gyres are areas where the ocean currents meet. There are five main gyres in the ocean.

The North Pacific gyre is one of the worst with thousands of square kilometers of rubbish. It’s hard to estimate the size because much of the rubbish is floating just below the surface.


What are some of the ways
we can make a difference and
protect marine wildlife
from pollution?

Slide 26 - Mind map

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

“What are some of the ways we can make a difference and protect marine wildlife from pollution?”


Over 100 million tons of fish caught each year.
Changing what we do.

Slide 27 - Slide

Changing what we do
We can make a difference by reviewing what we do and use can help make a difference:

What we buy and consume:
  • Refuse – Say no when offered a straw or plastic bag.
  • Reduce - if you don’t really need it or if something will harm the environment don’t use it. Reducing our use of single use plastic products reduces the risk it will end up in the ocean. 
  • Reusable - Instead of single use plastic products that end up in the ocean it is better to choose reusable items. 
  • Restrict - While it may not be avoidable to buy some items in plastic, buying the bulk version and not multi-paks will help. For example juice boxes or chips.

What we do with items that are broken or damaged:
  • First try to repair – why buy new when you can simply learn how to repair things.
  • Second repurpose – if you can’t repair an item then think of new ways you can use it. Old sheets and clothes for example can be used to make pouches for orphaned/injured wildlife.
  • Thirdly refinish – would a new coat of paint or polish make it useable again.

What we do with items we no longer need:
  • Rehome - if an item is in good condition but you don’t need or want it anymore, like toys you have outgrown.  Then they could be cleanup up and donated to a charity for someone who has very little, they can be sold/swapped at swap markets, or you can have your own swaps with family and friends.
  • Recycle - can’t repurpose or repair it, then recycle as much as you can.  Make sure you separate out your rubbish between what can go into the compost bin, recycling bin and normal waste. The less you send to landfill the better, especially plastics.

Some plastics can be returned to stores for recycling, like ink cartridges. Others may be donated to special programs where they can be converted for 3D printing. Such as programs to make items that help communities, like making artificial limbs.

Only 9% of the plastic produced is estimated to be recycled.

What we do with waste / marine debris found on land or in the ocean:
  • Remove rubbish from parks, schoolyards and beaches. Every bit you pick up helps prevent rubbish from ending up in drains and waterways and ultimately in the ocean.
  • Help recover marine debris from waterways and the ocean.   Join in dives to remove rubbish from around jetties / piers, reef systems or the seafloor.

Note – ensure you obey the laws, some areas have restrictions on removing rubbish, like fishing nets, to ensure the reef or ecosystem is not damaged.


Over 100 million tons of fish caught each year.
Preventing ocean pollution.

Slide 28 - Slide

Preventing ocean pollution
Other than changing what we buy and use, how can we or our governments help stop the issue?

Discuss these ideas with students – what would they do, how could it work, what would be the barriers to it working:
  • Implement measures to stop fishing vessels dumping nets or create measures to ensure they track and retrieve lost nets.
  • Implement stronger laws or monitoring to stop marine litter from ships.
  • Improving farming methods to reduce chemical run off.
  • Encourage the use of ecofriendly products and plastic alternatives.
  • Invest in waste management infrastructure for poorer countries.
  • Ban single use plastics – like plastic bags.
  • Conduct research to develop non toxic materials that are compostable.
  • Develop new ways to improve recycling rates and use of  materials.
  • Look at ways to stop people littering – education and awareness, or fines.
  • Fund methods to remove waste from the ocean.

Do you have any other ideas on
how we can protect marine wildlife, either to help reduce pollution or recovering from the ocean?

Slide 29 - Open question

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

“Do you have any other ideas on how we can protect marine wildlife apart from reducing the use of plastics and recovering plastics from the ocean?”



Write down three things you have learned?

Slide 30 - 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 31 - 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 32 - Slide

Sea Shepherd Case Studies cover a number of Sea Shepherd campaigns and show video of some of our work to stop ocean pollution. These can be used to enhance the learning experience from this lesson.

www.seashepherdglobal.org

Slide 33 - Slide

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