Our overall research goals are to improve our understanding of the ecological role of seals. This encompasses a vast array of disciplines and partnerships with research conducted through the consortium itself as well as by determining data gaps and aiding collaborative approaches to solving issues.

Water Quality Issues

Scientists from the newly created Northwest Atlantic Seal Research Consortium (NASRC) are using data collected by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) to investigate whether seals may impact beach water quality along Outer Cape Cod.


On the surface it seems like a simple and straightforward equation: more seals equals more great white sharks. The connection, however, is likely far more complicated.

Fisheries/Human Interaction

Fisheries and Human Interactions (HI) Commercial and recreational fishermen, scientists, and resource managers meet to discuss interactions between seals and fisheries.

Role of Seals in Ecosystem

Ecological relationships are extremely complex. They are almost never the simple one-to-one cause-and-effect interactions that people would like them to be.


Conservation is defined as the protection, preservation, management, or restoration of natural environments and the ecological communities that inhabit them.


An assessment of the status of the population of seals in the region is an essential component of the management of the variety of human uses of the coastal ecosystem where seals are increasingly common.


Understanding the current health and diseases present in seal populations in the northwest Atlantic is useful not only for management of seals. These sentinel species also help us understand overall ocean health.