What happens?

Young seals are curious, investigating any new things they find. They will play with pieces of kelp swaying in the oceans currents.

Floating and drifting pieces of plastic, along with other man-made rubbish, can look very interesting to a young seal.

When the young seal is playing, a plastic loop may flop over the seals snout. Even tight loops can slip easily over their smooth fur heads and around their neck. Then they are stuck while struggling to free themselves, more and more loops may slip around their necks. As the seal moves, the plastic can cut in, wearing away at the fur and skin. Soon it starts to cut through the seals blubber and muscle.

Even bits of plastic washed ashore can be dangerous to seals. Pups will find a fishing lure very interesting, until the hidden hook catches them in the mouth.

It is not always curiosity that catches the seal. A seal of any age may accidentally swim into a loop of plastic. A piece of fishing line snagged on the bottom of the ocean may form a loop as the seal passes its’ head through.