According to an Associated Press article, the New England gray seal population “has rebounded so much that some frustrated residents are calling for a controlled hunt.” The AP article explains:
“The once-thriving New England gray seal population was decimated by the mid-20th century because of hunting, with Massachusetts keeping a seal bounty on the books until the 1960s. But scientists say conservation efforts, an abundance of food and migration from Canada combined to revive the population.
Environmentalists cheer the resurgence, saying the gray seal boost is good for biodiversity and a boon for popular seal watch tours in coastal New England. But many fishermen say the seals interfere with fishing charters and steal catch. Beachgoers bemoan the 600-plus-pound seals taking over large stretches of shore, befouling beaches and attracting sharks, which feed on seals.
Some residents of Nantucket are so fed up over the huge seal population that now calls the affluent island home that they have suggested a controlled hunt, similar to the way states manage deer.”
Click here to read the entire AP article.