US Navy threatens rare whales


This video from the USA says about itself:

Navy sonar harms whales and dolphins. Check out this video and hear what it sounds like, and see what it does to these marine mammals. Earthjustice is working to get the Navy to use their sonar in places where it won’t harm whales and dolphins.

For more information, go to http://www.earthjustice.org/sonar

From Associated Press:

Judge rules Navy can train near endangered whales

Reported by: Jenifer Andrews

9/10 10:16 pm

The range is for submarine warfare despite environmentalists’ concerns that it would threaten endangered right whales.

U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood ruled the Navy took a “hard look” before concluding risks to whales would be minimal off the coast of southern Georgia and northern Florida, where the whales migrate each winter to give birth. She cited case law saying judges should give “great deference” to the military regarding its training.

The Southern Environmental Law Center sued the Navy in 2010, saying the range would threaten right whales with ship strikes, entanglement with parachutes and possible harm from sonar.

Environmentalists asked the Navy to suspend training during the five-month calving season.

By Russ Bynum, Associated Press:

Judge says Navy can train near rare Atlantic whales

9/10/2012 11:42 PM

Savannah, Ga. – The Navy can build a $100 million offshore range for submarine warfare training, despite environmentalists’ fears that war games would threaten endangered right whales, a federal judge ruled.

U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood ruled the Navy took a “hard look” before concluding risks to the rare whales would be minimal at the proposed training site 50 miles off the coast of south Georgia and north Florida. Environmentalists sued to block the project in 2010, saying it’s too close to the waters where right whales give birth to their calves each winter.

The groups that sued said Monday they’re weighing an appeal. Experts say only about 400 right whales remain, and each death brings the species a significant step closer to extinction.

“They are critically endangered and I think deserve a weight beyond other species,” said Sharon Young, marine issues director for the Humane Society of the United States, one of the groups that sued the Navy. “We certainly would never argue to undermine our national defense, but it’s also reasonable to ask the military not to jeopardize a species that is just barely hanging on.”

The proposed training range would consist of 300 sensors connected by a web of cables on the ocean floor in an area covering about 500 square miles. The Navy, which has bases nearby in both states, would use the site to train with a mix of submarines, surface ships and aircraft.

The Navy plans to begin construction as soon as 2014 and begin training on the site in 2018, said Jene Nissen, the range’s program director and a retired Navy commander. …

The Southern Environmental Law Center, which sued on behalf of a dozen conservation groups, argued construction of the training site and the war games themselves would put right whales at risk of collisions with ships, entanglement in cables from parachutes attached to Navy buoys and potential harm from sonar.

The Navy agreed to suspend construction at the site from November to April, when right whales migrate to the warm southern Atlantic waters to give birth.

Before suing, conservationists had also asked the Navy to halt training at the site during those months and to comply with offshore speed limits the government imposes on private and commercial ships.

The Navy refused, saying the precautions would interfere with its ability to train effectively and maintain readiness.

Young of the Humane Society said she believes stricter precautions would have been imposed for a civilian project, such as offshore wind turbines.

Environmentalists argue even trained spotters have trouble seeing right whales swimming just below the ocean’s surface. Their fears of whales swimming near the training site were bolstered in March 2010, when biologists recorded a right whale giving birth about 10 miles from the proposed range.

Right Whales Wronged: Judge allows Navy to expand sonar use in Florida calving area: here.

New Navy estimates showing many more dolphins, whales and other marine mammals could be hurt by sonar off Hawaii and Southern California caused alarm among environmentalists on Friday: here.

Navy Admits Whales and Dolphins in Harm’s Way: here.

How Navy Sonar Kills Whales and Dolphins: here.

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12 thoughts on “US Navy threatens rare whales

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