The Marine Mammal Protection Act presently protects gray seals, resulting in their rebound and the attraction of white sharks. While the legislation has been effective in recovering seal numbers, it does not provide for the removal of recovered species from the list.
As long as gray seals are protected, their numbers will increase, potentially causing environmental imbalances. Natural population control measures like predation, starvation, and illness exist, but depending on them is problematic. Concerns include disease spread to people and hardship on fisheries.
Similar to the Endangered Species Act, the Act should be updated to allow for delisting, supporting ecosystem-based stewardship, and keeping adequate balance in the maritime environment. This modification in strategy would be more successful than continuing to conserve species that have clearly recovered indefinitely.
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