The Navy hasn’t had a great rep with dolphins and whales. The institution’s sonar and its affect on marine life has been controversial for over a decade and in 2011 a San Diego explosives exercise killed four dolphins.
With a recent court victory, now both whales and dolphins are swimming away with a win and some valuable peace and quiet.
The Navy agreed this week to stop using some of its sonar that conservationists have argued harms marine animals. The institution signed an agreement with leading environmental groups including EarthJustice who together have been fighting the deadly sonar for a decade.
Scientists have found that the Navy’s sonar waves mix up dolphin and whale feeding patterns. They also say whales have beached themselves to escape the booming and disorienting sounds. Some of the marine animals even go deaf due to sonar.
With the agreement, the Navy will not use its traumatizing mid-frequency sonar in marine animal safe zones between California and Hawaii. They will also avoid conducting trainings with explosives in the areas.
The Navy will additionally cut down on its training exercises in the region and will halt all sonar use in areas that are both habit and feeding regions for whales and dolphins.
We hope the Pacific’s whales and dolphins will feel the affects of this decade-long fight for a quieter ocean. Let’s cross our fingers that the Navy’s monumental move will also reduce the mass beachings we’ve been seeing across the region.
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