Sharks Are Back and So Is the Debate Over Culling the Seal Population
In light of Maines's first shark fatality recently, the debate over the culling of the seal population is front and center once again, according to reporting from news.yahoo.com.
But would culling the seal herd really help? Many say “no.”
It would require reversing a federal law protecting marine mammals and when Republican lawmakers attempted to do so in 2017, they failed, according to the article. Killing tens of thousands of seals would not prevent the seals from repopulating, the report stated, and in fact, the number of seals has exceeded expectations since they were put on the protected species list.
The Yahoo News article stated that some have even floated the idea of putting the seals on “mammalian birth control,” and believe it or not there is such a thing, but would it really keep sharks away?
Whatever side of the issue you are on, it appears there are no easy answers.
Would culling the seal population off the coast of Cape Cod rid us of the Great White Sharks that are coming into our area in increasing numbers? Experts say probably not.
There has been talk about using sonar technology, which is in beta testing, but that may leave people with a false sense of security, according to Yahoo News.
Greg Skomal, a senior scientist for Massachusetts’s Division of Marine Fisheries and internationally known shark expert, tells Yahoo News, “There is no silver bullet, no one solution that’s going to be 100 percent effective. The only thing that’s going to be 100 percent effective is people don’t go in the water.”
Since the seal population has rebounded so well, the sharks are coming in closer to shore to feed, according to Skomol.
James Sulikowski, a professor at Arizona State University’s School of Mathematical and Natural Science, tells Yahoo News that “as human beings, we have to understand that we don’t belong in the water. We go there to enjoy it. So, if we start thinking of removing and changing ecosystems so that it fits our pleasure zones, then we really have some issues as a race.”
I like to sit on the beach and watch the water. I guess this is why we have lakes. I’m just going back to swimming in lakes except if I lived in the south. Then I'd have to worry about alligators. Well, there's always a swimming pool...