© 2017

Seal Action Committee, All Rights Reserved

PO BOX 351

Siasconset, Massachusetts 02564

Ladies and Gentlemen:  Herewith an update on SAC activities and accomplishments.

  • Over the winter and early spring, the SAC (led by Pete Howell) helped steer a resolution through the Nantucket Board of Selectmen, recognizing that the Island faced a gray seal influx and calling upon wildlife management officials to quantify what is going on.  How many gray seals are there in Nantucket Sound, how rapidly are they reproducing and what is their economic and environmental impact?  A copy of the BOS resolution and covering letter to the powers-that-be is attached.

  • The SAC leadership met with the Harbor and Shellfish Advisory Board to secure their support for objective research on the dimensions and impacts of the gray seal population explosion.  The Board adopted a formal resolution of support.

  • The SAC leadership participated as panelists in the Seal Forum convened by the Nantucket Civic League.   Its participation was covered in an article by Lindsay Pykosz in the May 23 issue of the Inky&M.  SAC flyers were prepared for the Seal Forum and widely distributed.

  • The SAC worked with freelance journalists writing articles on the gray seal invasion.  These included: Jamie Golden, who wrote an article for "The Fisherman" entitled "A Seal of Disapproval"; Paul Starobin, who wrote an article entitled "The Seal Problem" for the July issue of "Boston" magazine; Doug Fraser, a reporter of the "Cape Cod Times" who has written a series of excellent articles on the gray seal population explosion; Sarah Teach, who wrote a major article entitled "Island Seal Debate" for the "Yesterday's Island" fortnightly publication; and Richard Conniff who is working on an article on the gray seals for "Yankee" magazine. The SAC is currently working with Stan Grossfeld of the "Boston Globe" on an article on the gray seal impact on recreational fishermen.

  • The SAC facilitated and organized the visits to the Island of Jim Sterba, author of "Nature Wars" and, of Greg Skomal, a noted great white shark expert.  Sterba spoke at the Nantucket Atheneum, introduced by the SAC president and was hosted at a SAC reception by SAC vice president, Guy Snowden and his wife at their handsome home.  Teaming with the Nantucket Anglers' Club, Skomal spoke under SAC auspices to a capacity crowd at the Anglers' Club, introduced by SAC director, Pete Howell.  A "Shark Talk" ad designed by the SAC public relations team of Alan Barcus and Victor della Barba, ran prominently in the July 18 issue of the Inky&M inviting the public to attend.

  • The SAC website was enhanced and arrangements made to enable credit card donations to the SAC via its website.

With the BOS resolution calling for research on the dimensions and impacts of the gray seal influx in hand, the SAC will next meet with researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to establish research priorities for its Gray Seal Research Fund.  It will move on to meet with regional legislators, including Nantucket's own Tim Madden to keep the pressure on for regional and federal action on the gray seal problem.  Meanwhile, the SAC will continue to blow the whistle on the gray seal invasion in all directions and through all outlets.  The SAC will also mount a formal membership campaign, aiming to secure funds for its continuing operations.

That's it for now.  Onward!  Peter

Summer Update 2013