Jeez Capt.XXX, I can see Nanuck from Labrador out at the south end of Swift Creek with his bat and skinning knife.
I think you wouldn't have to look to far to find books full of laws that closely protect marine mammals.
I think blaming seals, stripers, birds and maybe even commercial fishing is thinking wrong. I grew up in Bellmore and in the early 60's almost everything south of Merrick Road was salt marsh, creeks and grassland. Loaded with clams, sea worms, grass shrimp all kinds of small foods for growing fish fry. Now it's million dollar homes. That goes for the south shore from pillar to post. In the last 50 years or so we have lost the vast majority of nursery, breeding, feeding grounds for flounder, baitfish, clams, etc.
My guess is that although overfishing has had some effect, lack of viable habitat likely has a lot more to do with it. Overpopulation (man) has altered the natural balance of most of what nature has put in place. Nature has a way of adapting populations to the environment available. No environment, population falls off so those that are in place can survive with what they have available to survive on.