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Human Dimension of Rebounding Population of Seals and White Sharks on Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Principal Investigator

Jennifer Jackman, Salem State University

Co-Principal Investigators

Owen Nichols, Center for Coastal Studies

Lisa Sette, Center for Coastal Studies

Stephanie Wood, Univ. of Massachusetts-Boston

George Maynard, Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance

Cynthia Wigren, Atlantic White Shark Conservancy

Megan Winton, Atlantic White Shark Conservancy

Marianne Long, Atlantic White Shark Conservancy

Allen Rutberg, Center for Animals and Public Policy of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University


The collaborative research project will generate knowledge about the views and experiences of residents, tourists, and commercial and recreational fishers with regard to seals and sharks. The investigators will use a survey to measure experiences with seals, beliefs about seals and the impacts of seal-human interactions, and attitudes toward seal management as well as to measure values, perceptions and knowledge of sharks and attitudes toward human-shark conflict mitigation strategies. The understanding of the values, perceptions, and knowledge gained from the survey will enable managers, policy makers, and non-governmental organizations to develop appropriate messaging that advances wildlife conservation and responsible stewardship of the interfacing human and marine ecosystems.