Recent Surge in Shark Sightings Belies Their Dramatic Declines
Simon Thorrold

The July 30 shark attack at Ballston Beach in Truro has focused national attention on the seasonal occurrence of white sharks in waters close to Cape Cod and Island beaches. White sharks are no strangers to residents here; I certainly won’t forget kayaking with friends to see a female white shark trapped in a coastal pond on Naushon island in September 2004. There seems little doubt that we have witnessed more white sharks in areas frequented by swimmers along the eastern shore of the Cape over the past few years.

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Seals Rebound In Waters Here, Scientists Agree
Mark Alan Lovewell

An abundant food supply, safe habitat and management protection that began years ago has contributed to the resurgence of seals in Island waters.

Gray and harbor seals are back. Though marine experts at the federal level don’t have actual numbers, there have been many reports this summer of seals around the Island. In short, not all bathers at the beach are humans.

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Tennis, Anyone? Seal Pup Visits Yacht Club

A wayward juvenile gray seal made its way into Edgartown last Friday, spotted in a number of places on or near Fuller street. At one point the seal was in front of the Edgartown Yacht Club tennis courts off Pease’s Point Way. Traffic was diverted by volunteers. With assistance, the seal made its way back to the sea.

David Grunden, shellfish constable from Oak Bluffs, is also a marine mammal stranding coordinator for the Vineyard. Mr. Grunden received a call from the New England Aquarium on Friday morning that there was a seal in Edgartown.

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Aquarium Verifies Visiting Pinniped as Harp Seal

Last Wednesday evening Kathy Cerick and her family were walking on Lobsterville Beach near Dogfish Bar when they spotted a seal. It did not move when they approached it, so they took photographs and called the police who called the New England Aquarium. Ms. Cerick later received a call from the Aquarium asking her to forward the photographs. The Aquarium then responded that the seal was a harp seal. Ms. Cerick was asked to check on the seal again the next day, which she did, but the seal was gone.

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Watch Out for Sharks, The Coast Guard Warns In First-of-Its Kind Alert
Mike Seccombe

It’s been 35 years since the movie Jaws forever linked great white shark attacks and Martha’s Vineyard in the popular imagination of the world, yet in all that time no one has ever been attacked.

Then, long after all thought it was safe to go back in the water, along came the U.S. Coast Guard with last week’s holiday boating advice, headed “Shark Advisory” and warning swimmers, kayakers and small boaters of the danger of great white sharks.

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Affliction Unknown, Sick Seals Congregate in Large Numbers
Peter Brannen

There’s nothing worse than getting sick in the summer, and no group knows that better than the Island seal population which hopes to shake off a mysterious illness that has brought several weary seals ashore to die over the past couple months.

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Signed and Sealed
Suzan Bellincampi

Maybe it is something that we should harp about. We wouldn’t be alone in our complaint.

Come early March, many people are up in arms because winter marks the seal hunting season. Norway, Russia, Canada andGreenland are countries that allow the hunting of gray, hooded and harp seals. There are those few that hunt for tradition, food and sustenance, including tribal Inuitpeople. Others hunt for commerce and profit.

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