Gray seal population has rebounded since the species was protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The large seal population now finds itself butting heads with local fisherman over fish stocks. In addition, the presence of great white sharks close to shore has been increasing due to the increase in prey.
There are now calls to remove gray seals from the protected species list and ‘passively disperse seals from beaches’ to ease the human/seal conflict. Does it make sense to protect a species only as long as it does not interfere with human activities? Should protection only happen when it’s convenient?
It will be interesting to follow the story and see how it unfolds.
Story in Marine Science Today: Human, Seal Conflict in New England