Groups Fight Navy to Defend Whales
Source: Maria Dinzeo, Courthouse News Service
SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - The Navy's plan to deploy a global sonar system to broadcast powerful waves through 75 percent of the world's oceans will harm thousands of endangered marine mammals, environmental groups claim in court.
In their federal complaint, the Natural Resources Defense Council, The Humane Society, Jean-Michel Cousteau and others claim the National Marine Fisheries Service approved the Navy's 5-year plan to lower 18 loudspeakers several hundred feet into the ocean without considering the serious injuries it will inflict upon blue whales, humpback whales and other marine mammals.
"The approval comes in the face of evidence that LFA [Low Frequency Active Sonar] creates a risk of widespread injury and disturbance to countless marine species and their habitat, through impacts that range from significant disruptions in critical behaviors like breeding, nursing, and foraging, to physical effects such as hearing loss, stranding, and death, and despite acknowledgment by NOAA [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association] that identifying and protecting important marine mammal habitat is the most effective measure available to mitigate the effect of LFA and other high-intensity noise on marine mammals," their complaint states.
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