View Full Version : Went to Greg Skomal talk about sharks at the NE Aquarium last night...very interestin

05-27-2009, 05:11 PM
Any other RT'ers make it over there?

He gives a great lecture and the Aquarium lecture series is free to the public. (which I never knew).

I got to ask him a couple questions I thought the folks here might find interesting:
1. If dogfish are endangered why can't I seem to stop catching them?
His answer (paraphrasing): There is a huge biomass of dogfish right now but the vast majority of them are believed to be immature and not capable of breeding yet. So part of the idea with protection is to allow at least part of the population to get to breeding age. He also mentioned that there were problems with the way the population assessment was performed, but didn't have time to elaborate.

2. The resurgence of seal populations around Chatham, Monomoy and other parts of Massachusetts seems to have given rise to a large increase of reports of partially eaten seals washing up on beaches. Do you think the increase in predation on seals is real or has this been happening for a while and there is just more media hype? And do you expect there to be a rise in the number of seal predators in Massachusetts waters as the seal population continues to grow?
(paraphrasing again) 'The media always adds more hype than they add accurate reporting so that is definitely a part of it. However there has been a huge growth in the number of seals around Chatham, other parts of the cape, and Muskeget on the Vineyard.' Greg went on to say that he had documented a very similar growth on the west coast and that it had resulted in more white shark activity and he would expect the same thing might happen in New England. However he hastened to add that what he was saying was very hypothetical and that only time and further observation will show us the results of the seal resurgence.