Commissioners Hear Proposal to Disrupt Seal, Shark Activities

By: Ed Maroney

White shark Turbo was recorded passing off Marconi Beach on June 9. MASS DMF / ATLANTIC WHITE SHARK CONSERVANCY PHOTO

Humane Society, IFAW Beg To Differ

Barnstable County officials listened Wednesday morning as general contractor Willy Planinshek of Yarmouthport and Kevin McCarthy of Falmouth, who's worked for decades in oceanographic manufacturing, talked about technology that could divert seals, and thus, they say, sharks, from waters enjoyed by Cape swimmers.
Their acoustic device, now in very early planning stages, would produce a sound wave designed to irritate seals just enough to redirect them; another component would broadcast the sounds of pods of orcas, deadly enemies of white sharks. The regional commissioners gave the two a hearing without making any commitments (and none were requested), and also heard from scientists, who expressed doubts about the system, and two citizen activists from Wellfleet who indicated the time has come to remove seals from protected species status. Read more in Thursday's Chronicle.