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Despite evidence that sonar has killed whales by the hundreds, National Marine Fisheries Services has approved a Navy plan for expanded sonar use off the U.S. west coast.
Conservationists are suing.
EarthJustice, Natural Resources Defense Council, Native American tribes and others want the permit invalidated and the Endangered Species Act enforced.
Regulators have verified that sonar, known as "the loudest sound ever put into the seas," has caused whale deaths around the world, including the 37 found dead off North Carolina's Outer Banks in 2005.
Though regulators claim planned changes in duration and intensity of sonar use will prevent whale deaths, that's not good enough. Environmentalists say effects of sonar on marine life can be delayed. Besides killing them outright, sonar use could drive animals away from feeding and breeding grounds, making it difficult for them to eat or reproduce.
Tell Marine Fisheries to Protect Whales from Sonar!
We, the undersigned, support conservationists' demands that you invalidate the recent Navy permit to expand sonar testing off the Northwest Coast of the United States.
It has been determined by a number of experts that navies' sonar use beaches and kills whales, like the mass killing of 37 pilot whales near Coquina Beach, NC. The U.S. Navy, itself, has admitted to causing at least one of the mass killings.
These deaths result from acoustically-induced hemorrhaging around the ears, leading to disorientation, and by decompression sickness, when noise-distressed whales shoot to the surface, causing nitrogen bubbles to form in their tissues Also it's believed that the sounds can lead to dangerous, changed behavior from whales that interpret the noises as coming from predators.
Award-winning author Julia Whitty, discusses the issue in her book, The Fragile Edge:
"The low frequency active sonar (LFA sonar) used by the military to detect submarines is the loudest sound ever put into the seas. Yet the U.S. Navy is planning to deploy LFA sonar across 80 percent of the world ocean. At an amplitude of two hundred forty decibels, it is loud enough to kill whales and dolphins and already causing mass strandings and deaths in areas where U.S. and/or NATO forces are conducting exercises" [emphasis added].
The Navy's plans to deploy this deadly sonar "across 80 percent" of the oceans , while aware of the serious harm caused already, is just not acceptable.
Environmental groups are rightly concerned about the new permits Marine Fisheries granted the Navy for testing off the West Coast, without proper restrictions on the use of sonar. In their lawsuit, the groups are asking that the Navy steer clear of vulnerable areas, "at least seasonally," and, according to the Associated Press, they are asking the court "to order the fisheries service to study the long-term effects of sonar on marine mammals, in accordance with the Endangered Species Act and other laws."
We support the Conservationist groups in these requests. We ask that you take proper steps to protect the whales and other marine life now, on your own, without these groups having to spend money to force you to do the right thing.
Thank you for your serious attention to these requests..