Tag Archives: Cape Cod

Gray seals are making a huge comeback on Cape Cod (where there are no longer any Cod!)

For nearly a hundred years, New England’s gray seals had a bounty on their heads. Maine and Massachusetts paid people to kill them, because they depleted fishing stocks. They were also hunted for their meat and pelts. By 1973—a year after the Marine Mammal Protection Act made it illegal to systematically kill the animals—a census estimated there were only 30 gray seals left along the entire coast of Maine. Since then, Canada’s gray seals have returned to recolonize the east coast of the U.S.,,, Now, in a study published in Bioscience, researchers have combined Google Earth images and data from tagged seals to make a more precise estimation of the population.,, “Our technology-aided aerial survey, which used Google Earth imagery in conjunction with telemetry data from tagged animals, suggests the number is much larger—between 30,000 and 50,000.” Not everyone is happy with the pinniped’s population explosion—particularly fisherman, who see them as competition for fish stocks.  In recent years, some groups have advocated for culling the number of gray seals. Johnston says that not only would that be illegal, but it would also be premature. “We know almost nothing about what gray seals eat, how and where they forage,,, click here to read the story 10:48

Cape Cod gray seal population estimated at up to 50K

While the first day of the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission’s annual meeting, held for the first time on Cape Cod, dealt with threats to a tiny Mexican porpoise and massive Arctic polar bears, Thursday’s sessions brought the focus home with a profoundly local subject: gray seals. “These animals are reassuming their ecological roles,” said David Johnston, an assistant professor at Duke University. “And people freak out.” Seals are back in force, with between 30,000 and 50,000 living in the waters of Southeastern Massachusetts, primarily on and around Cape Cod, according to a new estimate produced by Johnston to be published in an upcoming report. Feelings about their return, however, are decidedly mixed.,, “They are unprepared that these predators are back in their environment,” Johnston said about people, comparing the gray seal’s historic comeback to that of the reintroduction of the gray wolf in the Western U.S. (I hate these people!) continue reading the story here 19:43

Is there really a Manatee swimming around Cape Cod??

manatee-off-cape-codThe International Fund for Animal Welfare says there have been several sightings of a manatee around Cape Cod. The manatee has reportedly been spotted off Nantucket, at Dowses Beach in Osterville and Oyster Pond in Chatham. “Here on the Cape it’s not very common,” IFAW research member Misty Niemeyer tells The Cape Cod Times. “We aren’t really quite sure what they are doing.” Anyone who spots the manatee should stay away and call the IFAW at 508-743-9548. Link 16:03

Cape Cod Gray seals’ impact comes into focus for students that quantified the numbers

seals, cape codIn April, Aaron Knight flew a small plane along the shore of South Monomoy Island off the Chatham coast, taking an aerial video of a seal-lined beach below him. Among the many who saw the film on Facebook was Peter Trull, field naturalist, author and a seventh-grade science teacher at Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School in Harwich. Like everyone, he was amazed. One Facebook post quipped there appeared to be “trillions of seals.” Maybe not trillions, but the images did beg the question, how many? But one unanswered question, Trull said, is how many seals are there? “There’s no number,” he said. “There are estimates and some speculation, but no number.” In the aerial images, Trull saw an opportunity to find the answer. Trull has done many aerial counts of various species for NOAA, the Center for Coastal Studies, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service. Trull combined his expertise with a lesson for his students. Read the rest here 17:21

Officials across Cape Cod estimate repairs from ice floes damaging infrastructure will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

ice flows cape codAs temperatures warmed on Cape Cod this week, officials began to calculate the damage that ice has done to docks and pilings. At the same time, ice floes the size of small boats appeared on some Cape Cod Bay beaches, creating a cold and ephemeral stir of their own. In Provincetown, 87 protective fender pilings at the town pier have snapped due to the movement of the ice, and in Barnstable Village 36 pilings at the town marina are either lifted, leaning or broken because of the ice. Read the rest here 09:27

Cape Cod – Seal control measures suggested – 200,000 or more of them sitting on our shores

With many fishermen complaining about the scourge of seals for decades and the recent phenomenon of great white sharks arriving to nosh on the blubbery – and protected – pinnipeds, Chatham officials had plenty to say when asked to comment on ways to deter “nuisance” animals. “They really aren’t endangered. I can’t see how 200,000 or more of them sitting on our shores can be (endangered),” said Selectman Chairman Florence Seldin last week, adding that they were so many in one of the Martha’s Vineyard harbors last year that boat traffic stopped. Read the rest here 15:59

Disapearing Job’s: Eric Hesse is a fisherman based in Cape Cod

Here’s how he describes his job: When I started, there were hundreds of boats that would go out especially in the winter chasing codfish. But there aren’t really any codfish left. They were severely depleted by overfishing and it’s made for kind of a bleak picture. There’s no telling when it’s going to come back. . Listen, and read the rest here 08:45

Cape Cod oyster poaching cases cracked

“We’ve definitely identified somebody,” Balcom said Monday. “We caught him red-handed and anticipate charging him in the next couple weeks. “Where he sold the oysters is going to come as a pretty big surprise.” Read [email protected]  10:31

Meet the Fisherman:: Fred Bennett

When he began fishing 35 to 40 years ago, almost all cod fishermen were hook fisherman except for a few draggers.”On a typical day trip, you would fish 4,500 hooks, all hand baited,” he says. “In the early stages of my career, I would get the guys,,  Read [email protected] Recipe for COD ORVIETTO included 14:11

Cape Cod: Shark safety: How much is too much?

capecodonline.com TRURO — On July 30, 2012, Denver businessman Christopher Myers had no clue he was about to swim into the history books as the first person in 76 years to be bitten by a great white shark in Massachusetts. If Myers were to return to Ballston Beach this summer, he’d see that little had changed. continued

Nearly 15,000 seals fill Cape Cod’s beaches as the sea mammal’s population explodes

Nearly 15,000 seals have been drawn to the  beaches of Cape Cod, sunning themselves on the New England shores. Aerial pictures of the coast show the sea  mammals covering the area in brown. continued