Seals on the Nantucket Jetty Posted on 9 Aug 16:07
There have been seals on Nantucket Island for hundreds of years. When seal hunting was legal, our native seals were hunted to dangerously low populations. When laws were passed preventing seal hunting in 1970, the populations were at such low levels, that there were barely any seals to be found on Nantucket Island. And when The Toy Boat opened nearly 30 years ago, there were no seals at all.
Fortunately, about a decade ago, seals began to return to the island. Now, they can be spotted at Great Point, on the Nantucket Jetties, on all of our beaches, and even here at The Toy Boat!
These soft-eyed animals have begun to stir up a bit of controversy, however. Though environmentalists are pleased to see the resurgence—citing an expansion of biodiversity and a boost for popular seal tours—some fishermen are concerned with seals' interference in their fishing charters. Likewise, beach goers have noticed that seals are taking over large portions of public shore-line. And concern grows that the seals will draw sharks closer to our shores, making swimming dangerous (although, since the beginning of records in 1837, there have only been three shark attacks with a single fatality, back in 1936.)
For the rest of us, however, the opportunity to share our beautiful island with these creatures is an honor. It may be taken as a sign that we are refining our delicate balance between man and nature.
The above photo was taken in front of The Toy Boat. Our location makes an ideal spot for seal sightings, among many other types of wildlife. This was the only time I've seen one on our dock.
The Toy Boat version of seals on the jetty, however, is in stock every day! It has been an exclusive feature of The Toy Boat since 2002. Children love to set up the Seals on the Jetty with the Harbor Series boats and the Brant Point Lighthouse. They can then add rocks and seals to replicate their own sightings.
Here's to many more visits from our seaborne friends!