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US Navy to Limit Sonar Harmful to Marine Mammals
By Ian Seldrup, September 16, 2015 @ 03:30 AM (EST)
Source: BBC

Under pressure from environmental groups, the United States Navy has said it will limit the use of sonar in Hawaiian and Californian waters. Sonar is known to harm whales, dolphins and other marine mammals, disrupting their feeding patterns and causing deafness and even death. The traumatizing signals are frequently blamed for the mass strandings of whales.

A deal was signed in Honolulu between the Navy and environmental groups on September 14 that restricts or bans the use of mid-frequency active sonar and explosives in training exercises. According to non-profit environmental law organization Earthjustice, an explosives training exercise in San Diego killed four dolphins in 2011.

A well-known habitat for beaked whales located between Santa Catalina Island and San Nicolas Island will now be sonar-free, as will a blue whale feeding area near San Diego. The Navy will no longer conduct training exercises on the eastern side of Hawaii’s Big Island and the number of exercises between Maui and the Big Island will be limited. In addition, as part of the deal, the National Marine Fisheries Service will investigate any injuries or deaths caused by the use of military sonar in the area.

Read more here.



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