October 3, 2009

Seals flocking to New England coastline

A growing number of seals are visiting the New England coastline in locations like Truro, Mass., and creating new problems, an expert says.

Seal specialist Gordon Waring said seals have taken up residence at coastal resting sites at a growing rate that has regional fishermen and officials concerned, The Boston Globe reported Saturday.

It is going to be a balancing act. People are going to have to adapt their ways to dealing with a year-round population of seals, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries specialist said. There may be more seals in areas people felt traditionally they had a right to use.

Fishermen along the coast are concerned the seals are decimating the regional fish population, while tourists are leaving questionable food items for the seals while stressing the wild animals.

Waring said without exact seal population figures, there is no consensus on when to limit the number of seals that once had nearly disappeared from regional waters.

We don't have a target number, he told the Globe.