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The Boston Globe


Debate grows over what to do about seal resurgence

CHATHAM — In the tale of the return of the seal population to Cape Cod, the point where a positive becomes a problem depends on how you look at a colony of seals. Fisherman look at them as competition. Sharks look at them as calories. And the public looks at them in all sorts of ways, from a reason to go to a particular beach, to a reason not to.

On Saturday in the auditorium of the high school in Chatham, the various stakeholders in the seal story gathered for what was billed as the Outer Cape Seal Symposium ­— scientists, fishermen, and captains of seal tourism boats — to discuss what is known about the animals’ exploding population, what needs to be known, and what can or should be done about it.

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