For conservation biologists, the growing number of gray seals in New England is a success story. For some fishermen and beachgoers, it's another story altogether. Seals can steal fish, damage fishing gear, block beach access, and attract great white sharks. For all these reasons, seals have become a touchy subject in communities across the Cape and Islands - nowhere more so than on Nantucket.
Now, a new survey - the first - digs into the attitudes of voters, tourists, and anglers on Nantucket. Jennifer Jackman of Salem State University says the work revealed more consensus than she expected, and also some parallels to attitudes about another local top predator - coyotes.