Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Date Information

December 2016

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Jennifer Jackman

Abstract

Grey seals came close to extinction prior to enactment of the 1972 Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA). Since the MMPA, seal populations have greatly recovered, especially around Cape Cod and Islands, which has caused controversy between fishing interests and the seals. This article offers insight into the beliefs of Nantucket voters and anglers about seals and their attitudes towards the MMPA. Surveys were mailed to Nantucket voters and administered to anglers on-site. While previous research suggested that anglers would be more anthropocentric and voters more ecocentric, differences were not statistically significant because of the high number of voters who were anglers. However, when voters were subdivided into “non-angler voter” and “angler voter,” and anglers into “non-resident angler” and resident angler,” “non-angler voters” and “non-resident anglers” were found to be more ecocentric while their counterparts were more anthropocentric. Overall acceptance of seals and support for the ecosystem and MMPA was high.

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