Author Archives: oceanlifeeducation

Should We Protect Sharks?

 

Should we protect sharks? We think so! We hear so many negative stories about sharks in the media but what role do they actually play in the ocean and why are they important to us?

The fact is that sharks are a crucial part of the food chain and help keep the oceans, planet (and us), healthy… and their numbers are dwindling fast.

Read on to discover why we need sharks and why we need to take action to protect these misunderstood creatures…

Sharks Get a Bad Press 

shark cullMany people fear sharks because of sensationalised stories in the media and scary films like Jaws.

The fact is that 100 million sharks are killed by humans each year and sharks kill around 12 humans a year.

So, maybe sharks should be scared of us, not the other way around?

Learn the Facts About Sharks

 

 

We need to take time to learn the facts about sharks and why they are so important to us and our world, so that we can help protect them. So, we have developed a range of FREE shark resources and an online Amazing Sharks Course aimed at dispelling the myths and promoting the facts about these misunderstood creatures.

 

 

Here are some REAL FACTS about Sharks…

 

Sharks Help Create a Healthy Ecosystem

shark ecosystemSharks are APEX predators, which means they sit at the top of the food chain and help control the numbers of animals below them in that food chain. By controlling populations of large and mid-sized predators, sharks allow smaller fish to thrive, which has a knock on effect on the food chain below them. Therefore, sharks help create a healthy ecosystem with a diverse range of species and competitors.

 

 

Sharks Are a Keystone Species

Apex predators like sharks are known as keystone species. This means that they are crucially important. If you take sharks out of the food chain, the whole structure could collapse.

Sharks & Natural Selection

sharks & natural selection

Sharks play an important role in natural selection because they prey on and remove weak and sick animals. This reduces the chances of them reproducing and helps keep fish populations healthy and strong.

 

 

Sharks & Habitat Loss

reef sharkSharks help prevent habitat loss. Habitats like coral reef depend on their fishy caretakers, like the little reef fish that live on them and clean and protect them from disease. Without sharks controlling numbers of big fish in a marine ecosystem, the numbers of these fish could explode. They would in turn kill off the smaller fish. If that happens, the reef would become diseased and die off, affecting millions of animals that depend on it for survival.

 

 

Everything On Earth is Connected

blue planet earthThe earth’s ocean produces 70 % of the oxygen we breath, food to eat, controls the climate, breaks down pollution, provides us with medicine and much, much more.

Humans are part of our amazing planet’s ecosystem. So, it is in our best interest to protect our home environment and everything within it…including sharks.

 

Want to Know more?

Watch our video: Why We Need Sharks

Read Our Blog: How to Engage Kids with Sharks

 

How You Can Help Protect Sharks

Check out Ocean Life Education’s other blogs:

How to Inspire Kids to Protect the Ocean

Reasons Why We Depend on Our Oceans

How Can I Protect the Ocean

 

shark cullCheck out the latest film ‘Shark Cull’ for some interesting views about shark safety programs off Australia’s East Coast 

 

 

 

 

Humpback Whale Migration Guide

whale watching

After a summer of feeding on up to 4 tonnes of krill in nutrient-rich chilly Antarctic waters, more than 20,000 Humpback Whales migrate north to the sub-tropical waters of East Coast Australia. They head to the warm waters of the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef, to mate and give birth. The east coast migration is one of the longest migratory journeys of any mammal on Earth – up to 10,000 km round trip! Our Humpback Migration Guide will help you make the most of one of the most incredible shows on earth…

To get the full low down on the east coast migration, check out our online course. humpback whale

When to Watch the Humpback Migration

The exact timing of the humpback migration can vary slightly from year to year but generally the whales can be easily seen off the East Coast at the following times:

May – Aug             Migrating north (generally 5-10km from the coast)

Sept – Nov            Migrating back South (often with new-born calves)

This map highlights some of the best whale watching lookouts on the east coast.

Tip: The whales are normally easier to see migrating south as they tend to travel closer to shore, protecting their calves from predators.

 

Check out our humpback migration calendar for more details…

Humpback Migration Calendar

Time of Day whale tail

Morning – Calm morning waters make easy viewing, before the wind picks up.

Evening – Sunsets make for spectacular whale watching as the changing light highlights the action.

 

Where to Watch 

The humpback’s spectacular acrobatic displays are often easily observed from the beach or land-based lookouts – so everyone gets the chance to watch for free!!

 

 

Best Whale Watching on the Sunshine Coast whale watching

The best whale watching on the Sunshine Coast can be observed from…

  • Coolum: Point Perry or Point Arkwright, Coolum
  • Kawana: Point Cartwright
  • Moffat Beach Headland
  • Noosa: Hells Gate, Noosa National Park
  • Alexandra Headland

Queensland Whale Watching by Boat 

whale watchingOur favorite places to go whale watching by boat…

-Mooloolaba

-Hervey Bay: about a quarter of humpbacks enter Hervey Bay

-Whitsundays

-Great Barrier Reef

Best Whale Watching near Brisbane

In our opinion, the best whale watching near Brisbane is from…

  • North Stradbroke Island – Point Lookout

 

Whale Watching Tips Humpback eye

Here are our whale watching tips – to ensure you get the most from your experience

  • Be respectful and mindful – follow 100 meter distance regulations
  • Take binoculars
  • Take a copy of our Identifying Humpbacks guide so you know what you’re looking for
  • Get up high for a better view
  • Be patient
  • Get educated so you can impress your friends with the facts!

 

Don’t forget to look out for East Coast Australia’s most famous white humpback whale. It’s Aboriginal name is ‘Migaloo’ or ‘white fella’.

 

 

 

Why We Need Whales

Whales are essential to the marine eco-system and therefore to us. They help to keep our oceans healthy. As we get up to 70% of our oxygen from the sea, we need it to be healthy enough to produce that oxygen, else we humans can’t survive!

5 Ways You Can Protect Whales

  1. Educate yourself & your friends
  2. Whale watch with a responsible company & keep 100 metres away
  3. Report sick or injured animals
  4. Reduce plastic usage & do not litter
  5. Support a whale charity:

Whale & Dolphin Conservation
Marine Conservation
Sea Shepherd
Humpbacks & Highrises

 

 

humpback whale kids courseTo get educated about the humpback migration and why we need to protect whales, why not check out our online course for kids

 

 

 

amazing sharks kids courseInterested in other courses for kids? Check out our Amazing Sharks Course

Humpback Whale Kids Course

Woohoo!!! The humpbacks are coming up the coast, so we’re celebrating their arrival with an awesome new Humpback Whale Kids Course. 

 

humpback migration

 

More than 20,000 Humpback Whales migrate up the East Coast of Australia from May each year. It’s one of the longest migratory journeys of any mammal (up to 10,000km) and it’s free and easy to watch from the coast. So why not get the low down on the migration and get down to the ocean to experience what’s probably the greatest acrobatic show on earth!

 

 

 

Humpback Whale Kids Course Content

We’ve created awesome videos, images, fast facts, infographics, a whale watching guide, humpback ID chart, a migration calendar, maps, quizzes and more that will arm you with all you need to know about humpbacks.

 

 

 

Personalised Humpback Whale Certificate

marine biologistComplete the course and you will receive a personalised humpback whale certificate, awarded by our very own Head Marine Biologist, Richard Coward!

 

 

 

 

 

Whale Watching Guide

whale watchingOur whale watching guide includes everything you need to know about whale watching, including:

When & where to go whale watching

Humpback whale migration calendar

Best lookout points: QLD & NSW

Whale watching tips

Humpback identification chart

 

 

 

Humpback Videos

humpback & calfOur short humpback videos include amazing footage of humpbacks doing what they do best – breaching, slapping and  singing! so, we’ve added some lively music which we think goes pretty well with the whales – it’s big and bold too!!

 

 

 

 

 

 How to Protect Humpback Whales

We can all do our bit to help protect humpback whales, like…

Educate yourself & your friends

Whale watch with a responsible company & keep 100 metres away

Report sick or injured animals

Reduce plastic usage & do not litter

 

 

Support a whale conservation organisation…

Whale & Dolphin Conservation au.whales.org/

Marine Conservation marineconservation.org.au/whaling/

Sea Shepherd seashepherd.org.au/

Humpbacks & Highrises hhr.org.au/

 

humpback whaleHumpback Whale Migration Kids Online Mini Course

 

 

 

humpback teaching resources

Humpback Migration Teaching Resources

 

 

 

Humpback Whale Teaching Resources

Humpback Whale Migration

 

Each year, from May, around 50,000 Humpback Whales migrate from their feeding grounds in the chilly waters of the Antarctic, to warmer waters off Australia’s East and West Coast to birth and mate. The migration can easily be seen from the coast and the acrobatic whales make awesome viewing. So, we decided to create some inspirational humpback migration teaching resources to engage students and to celebrate the arrival of the whales!

 

HumpbackCurriculum Humpback Whale Teaching Resources

These image-based humpback whale teaching resources are designed to assist in teaching curriculum themes such as human impact, habitats, adaptation, and classification, using an iconic and topical subject. Resources include downloadable videos, infographics, fact sheets, maps, a migration calendar, presentation, activities and more.

 

Humpback Whale Topics Covered Humpback eye

  • Humpback Migration Route
  • Humpback Habitats
  • Humpback Fast Facts
  • Adaptations & Anatomy
  • Humpback Classification
  • Humpback v Toothed Whale & Food Webs
  • Humpback Reproduction
  • Why We Need Whales – The Whale Pump
  • Human Impact
  • How to Help Protect Whales

 

A Sample of our Humpback Whale Teaching Resources

Migration Route Map – detailing how the whales travel up the West & East Coast

 

Whale Food Webs

Food Webs – baleen versus toothed whales

 

 

The Whale Pump – how whales help us breath

 

 

Activity – The Plastic Ocean Cycle

 

 

Humpback Whale Videos

We have used impressive humpback whale videos featuring whales being whales! We put the videos to music that should bring a smile to student’s faces!

 

 

 

 

Educating Students to Protect

We believe that educating students is the best way to inspire them to want to protect the ocean and marine life. The resources pack closes with a section on how students can protect humpback whales.

 

 

5 Ways You Can Protect Humpback Whales

  1. Educate yourself & your friends
  2. Whale watch with a responsible company & keep 100 metres away
  3. Report sick or injured animals
  4. Reduce plastic usage & do not litter
  5. Support a whale charity:

 

Whale & Dolphin Conservation au.whales.org/

Marine Conservation marineconservation.org.au/whaling/

Sea Shepherd seashepherd.org.au/

Humpback & High Rises hhr.org.au/

 

Humpback Whale Teaching Resources

humpback whale

amazing sharks kids course