As numbers of gray seals rise, so do conflicts

Jul 20, 2014 by Patrick Whittle

(AP)—Decades after gray seals were all but wiped out in New England waters, the population has rebounded so much that some frustrated residents are calling for a controlled hunt.

The once-thriving New England gray seal population was decimated by the mid-20th century because of hunting. But scientists say conservation efforts, an abundance of food and migration from Canada combined to revive the population.

But not everyone is celebrating the ' return.

Many fishermen complain that the seals interfere with fishing charters and steal catch. Beachgoers bemoan the 600-plus-pound taking over large stretches of shore and say they attract sharks, which feed on them.

Some in Nantucket are so fed up they are calling for a culling of the herd, similar to the way states manage deer.

Explore further: World's only captive leopard seal put down

3.8 /5 (5 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

World's only captive leopard seal put down

Feb 20, 2014

The world's only captive leopard seal, which washed up in Sydney with a shark bite to his abdomen seven years ago, has been put down at an Australian zoo, officials said Thursday.

Growing seal population threatens small-scale fishing

May 10, 2011

Seals and the fishing industry compete for fish of all types – no matter whether it is salmon, whitefish, herring or cod. Seal-safe fishing gear is the most sustainable solution, and we need knowledge ...

Camera on Maine island streams gray seal video

Jan 17, 2013

A camera that records seal-pupping activities on a remote Maine island has begun live streaming in what is believed to be the first live camera installed on an East Coast seal-pupping site.

Recommended for you

Technology to help farmers protect crops

6 hours ago

New technology to tackle biosecurity challenges down the track is one of the five megatrends identified in today's CSIRO report Australia's Biosecurity Future: preparing for future biological challenges. ...

Australia's biosecurity may be shocked

8 hours ago

A human disease pandemic, European honey bee colonies wiped out and an invasion of a devastating wheat disease are just three potential biosecurity threats facing Australia, according to a report released today.

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Shootist
1 / 5 (2) Jul 20, 2014
I needs me some seal skin boots.

Make it so.
alfie_null
5 / 5 (2) Jul 21, 2014
I needs me some seal skin boots.

Make it so.

So? Move to Canada.

You ever going to grow up, or will you always depend on others to tell you how to solve your problems?
neotesla
5 / 5 (2) Jul 21, 2014
I am sure the seals find the presence of humans on the stretches of beaches they use equally distressing. Culling them because humanity finds them annoying is a sad statement about the priorities of people in general.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.