© 2017

Seal Action Committee, All Rights Reserved

PO BOX 351

Siasconset, Massachusetts 02564

Ladies and Gentlemen:  New Year's greetings from the SAC leadership.  You will find below a report on where we stand and where we are headed.  We shall be counting on- and enlisting- your support along the way.

SAC: The Road Ahead

 

  • The gray seal problem is receiving increasing attention in the public prints, led by Doug Fraser's coverage in The Cape Cod Times.  Muskeget is coming in for particular attention and is ringing gray seal alarm bells.  A respected freelance fish and wildlife journalist, Jamie Golden, is at work on a major article on the gray seal population explosion.  The SAC will be featured in it.
     

  • We are in closer touch with our counterparts on the West coast, learning from their protracted and costly experience.  Their experience can provide helpful guidance on what not to do as well as what the law (the MMPA) actually allows.  Doug Fraser currently is covering the West coast situation and we should learn even more from his findings.
     

  • Our political strategy will be pursued on three levels: local, regional and national.  Success at each level will require a groundswell of public support which the SAC must aim to generate.
     

  • Our local strategy will focus on the Nantucket Board of Selectmen.  They will be approached with a view to declaring the gray seals a local public nuisance warranting an exception to the Marine Mammal Protection Act that would allow the dispersion of the seals from the Nantucket shoreline.  In connection with this approach, a list of Nantucket residents who have signed our petition will be prepared to accompany the endorsement of the 500 member Nantucket Anglers' Club.
     

  • Our regional strategy will focus on State Representatives, Tim Madden and Sarah Peake, and Congressman Bill Keating, with a view to putting NOAA's feet to the fire to man-up to their administrative responsibilities under the MMPA which include providing an up-to-date census of the gray seal population and the prudent management of that population. 
     

  • Our national strategy will focus on an amendment to the MMPA, specifically its provisions on allowed harassment.  The amendment process itself may be the catalyst necessary to receive an exception to the law that would obviate the need for an amendment.
       

  • Our three-front political strategy will be buttressed by: 

    • (1) A SAC White Paper on the need to seek relief from the MMPA; 

    • (2) A multi-media public relations campaign;  

    • (3) Establishing a broader coalition and membership base; 

    • (4) Funded research on SAC initial priorities including the gray seal population impact on shoreline water pollution, Nantucket's tourist and fishing-based economy and the ecology and environment of Nantucket and Muskeget.  To the extent possible, this research will be pursued in tandem with local partners.
         

  • Successful pursuit of the agenda set forth above will require a unified "SAC voice", effective burden-sharing among the SAC leadership and volunteers, probably a part-time SAC Executive Director, and more lucrative fundraising than has thus far been achieved. A priority for SAC leadership should be the design of truly effective fundraising and public relations campaigns, the latter aimed at keeping the issues (public health, economic, environmental and lifestyle impact) before the public.  Our role in this latter connection will be to serve as "whistle blowers" for the public benefit. 

 
Peter Krogh, Guy Snowden, Pete Howell and Big Kenny Kassan´╗┐

The Road Ahead - February 2013