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Marine Mammals Get Reprieve as US Navy Finally Agrees to Back Off Sonar Testing in Key Areas


Marine Mammals Get Reprieve as US Navy Finally Agrees to Back Off Sonar Testing in Key Areas

Jon Queally, staff writer

Animal welfare and conservationists are declaring victory on behalf of marine mammals off the coast of both Hawaii and California after a federal judge on Monday signed a settlement in which the U.S. Navy agreed to limit its use of underwater sonar and explosives with the particularly sensitive areas for scores of vulnerable species.


Let's add, though, the fact that geological exploration for undersea oil involves the use of massive explosions to generate waves that propagate into the sediments, but also, of course, upward to the marine life.


Every time I read about multi-whale and dolphin beachings I wonder if it's due to military use of underwater sonar.

Impossible to know how many deaths their testing has caused - and what they're using based on the results of those tests.



redravensounds wrote (to ctrl_z):

'Sound travels very well in water - as I've mentioned before, when you are SCUBA diving, you get your dive buddy's (and everyone else s attention) by lightly tapping your dive knife against your cylinder - And that is just a very light tap!!!...... at 200dB SPL, it would tear your ear drums apart, and make you (ears bleeding) try to get away from it. Imagine standing inside a steel drum and then have people beat on it with steel mallets as hard as they can! Anyone who dives understands this'

Well, since an SPL of 200 dB corresponds to an acoustic field intensity of 10 kilowatts per square centimeter, I strongly suspect that any blood emanating from one's ears would quickly vaporize.


Yesterday, I received an e-mail from the Natural Resource Defense Council announcing the good news. I contribute to NRDC and they send me petitions that they oversee concerning global environmental and ecological issues. The outcome on this issue comes, in large part, as a result of the tireless (and successful) efforts of NRDC. Now, who is going to shadow the U S Navy to make sure they keep their word? As other commenters have noted, it is not only the U S Navy, it is the deep water oil exploration and excavation practiced around the world by BP, Chevron, Shell, Exxon-Mobil, etc that jeopardize the health and well-being of the marine life anywhere near their operations. Ugh!