Is the enterprising surfer looking at the wrong enemy?
I trust that you have been following along, closely, with this wild summer of Great White sharks. Oh they’re everywhere in America. They’re shutting down beaches in my once-Arcadian North County, San Diego. They’re bumping fishing boats, feeding on whales and speaking an unflattering dialect of English off Massachusetts’ Cape Cod.
Worse, though, they’re chasing off tourists from that area depending on the influx of those seasonal dollars. My once-utopian North County, San Diego is fine. It never gets cold here but Cape Cod? Oooee! Summer is its only habitable season.
And what to do? How to possibly solve this pointy-toothed, rolled-back-eye’d man-eating problem?
Well, some Cape Cod businessmen and longtime locals are blaming seals, Great White sharks’ favorite snack after surfers. According to the august Yahoo! News:
Gray seal populations in New England were nearly eliminated by hunting through most of the 20th century, but federal protections passed in 1972 have allowed their numbers to proliferate. Today there are an estimated 50,000 seals around Cape Cod.
One proposed solution is killing seals to control their population. The practice, known as culling, is a relatively common tactic that has been used to manage species like birds, rodents and even kangaroos.
Proponents of seal culling say it is the most effective and efficient way to reduce the number of sharks in Cape Cod’s waters. Businesses that rely on tourism are suffering because the attacks are scaring off summer visitors, they argue. Others say the seals have become so numerous that they’re creating problems beyond just attracting sharks, such as stealing fish from fishermen and creating an unpleasant odor on beaches.
Has there been any backlash to this innovative plan? Surprisingly, yes, and from environmentalists, no less, who claim the number of human fatalities is still minimal compared to the absolute carnage a bacchanal of baby seal clubbing would cause. The “proposed solution” anyhow, as Yahoo! News points out, is moot seeing as gray seals are still a protected species in Mass.
But a boy with a club can still dream, can’t he?
Also, dear Australian friends, is there backlash in the Lucky Country to the clubbing of baby kangaroos?
More as the innovation develops.