The first Outer Cape Seal Symposium will be held Saturday, March 23, 2013, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Chatham Community Center. Registration is required to attend.

The Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen’s Association is joining forces with the Friends of Pleasant Bay, the Pleasant Bay Alliance, and the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies to host a symposium exploring the impacts of increasing seal populations on the Outer Cape.

How are seals impacting fishermen? What are their impacts on water quality? Are they the reason why the great whites are here? How many seals are too many?

Fishermen, scientists, managers and policy makers will all offer their perspectives on these and other questions asked by the audience. This premier event will start a serious discussion about what we know and, just as importantly, don’t know about the impacts of rapidly expanding gray seal populations on the Cape Cod ecosystem, and where we can go from here.


  • Gray seal pup survey and genetics – Stephanie Wood LaFond, biologist
  • Water quality in seal beaching areas – Rebecca Gast, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
  • Seal interactions with Cape Cod fisheries – Betty Lentell, Cape Cod Commercial Hook Fishermen’s Association, and Owen Nichols, Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies
  • Attraction of sharks to local waters due to seal population – Greg Skomal, Massachusetts Shark Research Program
  • Northwest Atlantic Seal Research Consortium research and activities – Greg Early, biologist
  • Panel discussion moderated by former State Senator Robert O’Leary to answer questions from participants. Questions can be submitted in advance online.

There will be a limit of 150 participants. Free to all.

For more information, contact CCCHFA at (508-945-2432) or email:

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