Seal Research

Over the past thirty years, gray seals have repopulated areas around the Cape and Islands where they once were abundant prior to seal bounties. This expansion in their  range along the eastern US  has led to a greater number of seals in local waters .

In 2014, the Center for Coastal Studies seal studies program,  in conjunction with the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC),  began conducting aerial seal surveys for southeastern Massachusetts.


Gray seal haul out in Nantucket Sound. Photo taken by CCS under NOAA Permit No. 17670

The goal of this project is to conduct year-around monthly aerial surveys of major seal haul-out sites in southeastern Massachusetts coastal waters to increase our understanding of  seal abundance and habitat use.

This project is funded by  The Island Foundation and The Mandel/Rodis Trust.

Click here to learn more about the species of seals found on Cape Cod.

NOTE: Please be a responsible seal watcher. Remain 50 yards away from seals at all times. Seals are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

To report violations of the MMPA or seal harassment, contact NMFS Enforcement 1-800-853-1964