Recently there has been a trend to "update" the animal bride stories. That caught my attention as I work in the wild life field and I am one of the poor mooks who would end up the holder of a selkie's cap if such a thing really existed. So my brain asked what would really happen if some dude found a selkie skin on the beach.
First he'd freak out about poaching and take the thing to the local police department. They would be concerned, would open a case file and send it to forensics. Poaching would be assumed until forensics turned up the fact that there were no signs of injury at all on the skin; no bullet holes, no cuts, nothing. Remembering the fiasco of the "mutilated cows" the now confused and disgruntled officers would get this thing off their hands as quick as possible by shipping it off to the nearest university that studies this stuff. The university is grateful and promptly files the anomaly away to be look at whenever some PhD has the time and interest.
Meanwhile the police get a call from the guy who turned the skin over in the first place. He is being stalked by a crazy naked lady who insists he stole her skin. The police take her in and get the vague idea she own the skin. She is investigated for poaching but nothing can be proven. She learns where her skin is however and when they let her go she sets off for the University. But as the magic binds her to the rules of whoever holds her skin she can't so much as see it unless the PhD investigating it shows it to her. As no one cares this could take awhile and the quickest course of action is to get a PhD and "study" it herself.
Cue Uni shenanigans.