Success! U.S. Navy Makes Deal to Stop Using Sonar in Whale Waters

While it’s understandable that the U.S. Navy makes protecting the American people its top priority, it would be nice if safeguarding the well-being of marine mammals was somewhere on its list of priorities as well. For years, the Navy has sacrificed the health and lives of beaked whales by conducting dangerous sonar experiments underwater. Now, with help from a popular Care2 petition, the Navy has agreed to halt sonar expeditions in common whale habitats and feeding areas.

When dozens of beaked whales washed ashore dead, over 230,000 concerned Care2 community members signed the petition Tell the Navy and NMFS to Save Whales from Sonar. This massive public pressure, including multiple lawsuits filed by environmental groups, has finally prompted the Navy to work out a deal that should protect the safety of vulnerable whales and dolphins alike.

Some whales are literally blown up by the Navy’s experimental explosions. Others’ suffering is prolonged since whales are essentially tortured by sonar noises, which causes anxiety and brain bleeding. Many whales go deaf due the loud noises, making life untenable since they rely on sound to navigate. Of the whales that don’t go deaf, frightening sonar noises cause them to flee their home waters or even beach themselves in an attempt to escape.

To fix these problems, the Navy’s main concession is to longer treat the entirety of the ocean as its own war-prep playground. Until recently, the Navy has unnecessarily tested its sonar technology in all corners of the ocean, leaving large marine animals with no place to escape. Per this new deal, however, the Navy will no longer conduct sonar tests in known whale habitats.

While that alone will not completely rule out the possibility of further marine mammal fatalities, future deaths will be monitored and promptly reviewed by the National Marine Fisheries Service to see whether further modifications ought to be made. Without this deal, by its own estimates, the Navy expected to conduct 10 million sonar experiments between 2013 and 2018 that would have damaging effects on the nearby whale and dolphin populations.

“Recognizing our environmental responsibilities, the Navy has been and will continue to be good environmental stewards as we prepare and conduct missions in support of our national security,” said Lieutenant Commander Matt Knight.

Congratulations to the Care2 community for lending your voices to this cause. By raising awareness of the damage the Navy was inconsiderately creating, you’ve helped to protect whales from torturous and sometimes fatal military experimentation.

If you’re aware of other ongoing incidents of animal cruelty, why not start a petition of your own? With the large Care2 community behind you, there’s no telling what kind of an impact you could make.

 

Photo credit: Thinkstock

98 comments

Veronica B.
Veronica B3 years ago

Fantastic!!!

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus C3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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mari s.
Mari S3 years ago

Wonderful! Finally -- animals are being taken seriously and rational and compassionate advice is being taken to heart.

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Julie Cannon
Julie Cannon3 years ago

Great news!

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Dimitris Dallis
Past Member 3 years ago

Victory! :)

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Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran3 years ago

nice

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Pablo B.
.3 years ago

good news. Who controls?

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Shari R.
Shari F3 years ago

To find out more about this, you can read 'War of the Whales' which is all about this issue. There is a 'look inside' feature on this book on Amazon which would give you a taste.

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Tracy Riley
Tracy Riley3 years ago

Very happy to hear this!

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