CHATHAM (CBS) – A flourishing seal population is the reason experts say they’ve seen an increasing number of Great White sharks in the area.
And now, two days after a Great White shark attacked a beachgoer in Truro, local fishermen are pointing out that it’s not the sharks; it’s the seals that are causing most of the problems in the area.
Seals are protected under a 1976 congressional act. In the decades since, Chatham’s seal population has exploded from a few hundred to almost 10,000.
The animals have become popular with sightseeing tourists, but they’re also a major threat to the fishing industry.
“They’re putting us out of business. They’re eating way too much,” Chatham-based fisherman John Our said.
He told WBZ-TV that he has seen his catch cut in half in recent years. And it’s the seals, not government regulations that are mostly to blame.
“They’re destroying the environment,” Our said. “How many do you want? I understand we can have some. But when the population is larger than the population of Cape Cod in the winter time, something’s wrong.”