Stop Slaughtering Dolphins With Sonar

  • by: Susan Vaughan
  • recipient: Wildlife Protection Agencies of The U.S. and Peru

The use of deep water sonar is likely causing the mass dolphin deaths along the Peruvian and US Gulf Coasts.

After speculating too long over what caused 3000 dead dolphins to wash up on Peru's coast, researchers at a marine animal organization in Peru (ORCA) finally concluded that seismic surveying for petroleum is to blame. They said the dolphins suffered violent deaths due to decompression hemorrhaging caused by the acoustic booms.

The US has responded by curbing exploration during the calving season, but Natural Resource Defense Council’s Michael Jasny says that’s not enough. What dolphins face, he says, is like “dynamite going off in your neighborhood for days, months on end.”

It was first thought that pollution from the 2010 BP Gulf oil spill caused the killings, but anyway you look at it, offshore oil drilling is at root of the problem.

There’s no excuse for this mass slaughter. Demand tighter regulations on sonar to stop killing dolphins!

We, the undersigned, expect our wildlife preservation and protection agencies to do their jobs. Allowing mass slaughters of dolphins, like those occurring off the coasts of Peru and the U.S. recently, is not our idea of protection or perservation.

The same outrage over Japan’s cruel “drive” killings of thousands of dolphins in the village of Taiji every year should also be expressed over the massive deaths of dolphins, as well as a number of whales, caused by painful inner ear hemorrhaging from sonar bursts. Slaughter is slaughter, however it’s carried out.

Coincidentally, noise also plays a major role in the Japanese massacres. In order to corral dolphins into the bay for slaughtering, the killers bang on metal poles lowered into the water to create a “wall of sound” between the dolphins and the open ocean, with the poles bell-shaped at one end to amplify the sound. “The dolphins, which rely on sonar to navigate, are immediately disoriented and terrified and swim frantically to shore to escape the noise” (Brittanica Advocacy for Animals

We don’t have the solution for these tragic deaths, likely caused by sonar used in seismic surveys, however it’s reasonable to believe that either the pollution from the Gulf oil spill or the exploration that precedes offshore drilling, or both, are causing these unnatural dolphin deaths, and we believe it’s up to our governments to come up with a solution.

We request that you do what it takes to put an end to these dolphin massacres.

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