Seal population a bane to Nantucket fishermen Interference with fishing brings complaints against protected marine mammals ← Related Article Visit The Boston Globe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Comment on this Scroll to top of page Stan Grossfeld/Globe staff A group of gray seals hangs out on a sand spit in Nantucket Sound. Stan Grossfeld/Globe staff Surfcaster Ken Kassan -- a.k.a. Big Kenny Tin Squid -- comes up empty on a day when he said seals were hurting the fishing off Nantucket. Stan Grossfeld/Globe staff A gray seal pops out of the water while taking a swim in Nantucket Sound. Stan Grossfeld/Globe staff Tom Mleczko of Captain Tom's Charters says he has to travel farther to find fish because of the gray seals. "I don't hate seals," he said. "I hate the large number of seals." Stan Grossfeld/Globe staff Access to Great Point on Nantucket -- a noted fishing spot -- was closed to vehicles to protect nesting and staging birds. When they can get there, fishermen complain that seals grab their fish off the lines. Stan Grossfeld/Globe staff A gray seal basks on a sand spit in Nantucket Sound near Muskeget Island. Figures compiled by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration indicate that the seal population in this area is exploding. Stan Grossfeld/Globe staff Dozens of gray seals beach themselves in Nantucket Sound. Seals are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, but some fishermen believe their numbers are getting out of control. Stan Grossfeld/Globe staff A group of gray seals swims off Muskeget Island. Fishermen say the seals are shrewd and brazen enough to steal fish right off their lines as they are being reeled in. Stan Grossfeld/Globe staff A seal perches on a rock near Wellfleet Harbor. Stan Grossfeld/Globe staff Some fishermen believe that there has to be a better way for them to coexist with seals.