Outer Cape Seal Symposium
Saturday, March 23, 2013
9 am- 4 pm
Chatham High School
425 Crowell Road, Chatham, MA
Friends of Pleasant Bay Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies
Pleasant Bay Alliance Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen’s Association
ON-LINE PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED TO GUARANTEE ADMISSION. IF YOU REGISTER AND LATER DETERMINE THAT YOU CANNOT ATTEND, PLEASE CANCEL YOUR REGISTRATION. If two people are seeking to register together, please submit a separate registration request for each person.
Click here to Register
Seal Population on Cape Cod
The growth in the gray seal population along the Outer Cape and in local
estuaries such as Pleasant Bay is raising concern and questions about the need
for changes in public policy. Good policy discussions need to be based on sound
science and sharing of perspectives.
The Friends of Pleasant Bay, the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies, Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen’s Association and the Pleasant Bay Alliance have joined together to host a symposium focused on questions concerning the impacts of increasing seal populations on the Outer Cape. Leading scientists and researchers from the New England region will make presentations.
The symposium is targeted to public officials, fishermen, scientists,
interested members of the public and local organizations. There will be a limit
of 290 participants.
The purposes of the symposium are to:
- Share information with the public and media on current research and what we know and what we don’t know;
- Help inform policy discussions with public officials and decision-makers, fishermen, local natural resource officers, and others;
- Support dialog and information sharing among scientists;
- Identify critical topics needing research and potential funding for research.
Grey Seal pup survey and genetics (Lisa Sette, Provincetown Center for
Lisa Sette is a member of the Marine Animal Entanglement Response Team at the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies. She also directs the Center's seal research project, and is currently monitoring a newly formed gray seal seasonal haul out at High Head, North Truro inside the Cape Cod National Seashore. Lisa’s presentation will provide an overview of the thesis work completed by Stephanie Wood on the dynamics of gray seal recolonization in the Northeast U.S.
Water quality near seal haul-outs (Rebecca Gast - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute)
Rebecca Gast has been a scientist in the Biology Department at WHOI for 18 years. Her research interests are in microbial ecology, and her projects have generally been directed towards the detection, identification and distribution of microbes, and how they respond to environmental conditions. She has studied the microbial community composition in polar marine environments, as well as symbionts of planktonic amoebae, and several parasites and pathogens of humans and marine animals.
Seal interactions with Cape Cod Fisheries (Owen C. Nichols - PCCS, and Betty Lentell - CCHFA)
Owen Nichols is Director of Marine Fisheries Research at the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies and a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Massachusetts School for Marine Science and Technology. Betty Lentell is a biologist working with the Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen’s Association and has been working in the field of marine mammals in the Northwest Atlantic for over ten years with various groups.
What is the relationship between seals and sharks in Cape Cod Waters? (Dr. Greg Skomal)
Dr. Gregory Skomal is an accomplished marine biologist, photographer, and author. As the principal investigator of the Massachusetts Shark Research Program, he has been studying sharks for over 30 years. He has written numerous scientific research papers and has appeared in a number of film and television documentaries, including programs for National Geographic, Discovery Channel, and PBS. His most recent book, The Shark Handbook, explores the world of sharks.
Consortium research and activities (Greg Early, Integrated Statistics)
Greg Early has worked at the New England Aquarium in Boston for over twenty five years where he was a researcher, headed the Aquarium’s biology laboratory, animal care facility and marine animal rescue program. Since leaving the Aquarium, he has worked as a contract biologist for organizations from Maine to Florida on a variety of marine mammal and fisheries related projects and programs. Presently, he is a contractor for Integrated Statistics in Woods Hole Ma, working for NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NFSC), Fisheries Observer Program (FOP), as a data editor for the Northeast Fisheries Observer Program (NEFOP) and At-Sea Monitoring (ASM) Program.
Panel Moderator (Rob O’Leary)
Rob O'Leary served as state senator for the Cape and Islands for a decade and is the author of the Massachusetts Oceans Act. He is a professor of American History and Political Science at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
Meetings of scientists and stakeholders to address the role of seals in northeast U.S. waters have been ongoing, beginning in 1979 with a meeting sponsored by the Marine Mammal Commission. It included subsequent meetings in 1995, sponsored by the New England Aquarium; and in 2006, led by the Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen's Association (CCCHFA). Starting in 2009, Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies (PCCS) researchers conducted outreach and held informal meetings with Cape Cod commercial and recreational fishermen and marine scientists. Most recently, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Marine Mammal Center sponsored Gulf of Maine Seals meetings in 2009 (Populations, Problems and Priorities), hosted at WHOI; and in 2011 (Fisheries Interactions and Integrated Research), hosted at PCCS. It was this effort that led to the formation of the Northwest Atlantic Seal Research Consortium.
To see the archived information on the previous meetings, please click on the links below.
https://darchive.mblwhoilibrary.org/handle/1912/5514 2011 Meeting
https://darchive.mblwhoilibrary.org/handle/1912/3701 2009 Meeting
http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/pinnipeds/grayseal.htm Stock assessment and species information.
Saturday March 23, 2013, 9am-4pm. Registered Participant Check-in 8:30am – 9 am. Participants will drive to lunch in central Chatham. Car pooling is recommended.
Chatham High School
425 Crowell Road, Chatham, MA 02633
There is parking available at the High School. Participants will be driving in to Chatham center for lunch. Parking is available in the Chatham Town Parking Lot off of Stage Harbor Road (Behind Rockland Trust Bank). Car pooling at lunch time is recommended.
- Friends of Pleasant Bay - http://fopb.org
- Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies - http://coastalstudies.org
- Pleasant Bay Alliance - http://pleasantbay.org
- Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen’s Association - http://ccchfa.org
- Northwest Atlantic Seal Research Consortium (NASRC). - http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=116716
- Massachusetts Division of Fisheries - http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/
- National Park Service - http://www.nps.gov/caco
- Cape Cod town governments (Brewster, Chatham, Harwich, Orleans, Provincetown, Eastham, Truro, Wellfleet) including local harbormasters and recreation departments
The Symposium will have speakers on four topics in the morning, and panels of experts in the afternoon. The topics include:
- Grey Seal pup survey and genetics
- Water quality near seal haul-outs
- Effect on local fisheries
- Seal Consortium research and activities
- What is the relationship between seals and sharks in Cape Cod Waters?
Please click here for a detailed agenda.
We encourage interested parties to submit questions ahead of time. This will help orient the discussions in areas of most interest and avoid duplication of effort. Cards will be available during the morning sessions to submit questions for the panel and experts. Cards will be collected before the luncheon break so that the panel can review them along with online submissions.