When David was diving in southeast Florida almost exactly 2 years ago, he was thrilled to see a pod of dolphins, which he was told were a rare sight in the area in February. A few days later he was disturbed to see a more common sight — a submarine conducting sonar testing. After he returned home, we learned that a number of dolphins had stranded in the Florida Keys, a relatively short distance from where he was diving, a few days after he saw them.

We don’t know whether it was the same pod. But we do know that sonar is extremely harmful to marine mammals. Despite hard data that has linked sonar use to marine mammal strandings, the military continues to use this destructive practice in the name of “homeland security.”

US Navy sonar tests extended
Source: Divernet International News, 30 Jan 2007

America’s Federal Government has granted the US Navy more time to run sonar tests in the open oceans and coastal waters around the USA.

submarineDespite the state of California imposing restrictions on tests in the area, the Navy and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have negotiated with Washington to gain a two-year exemption from the Marine Mammal Protection Act, allowing them to continue studying mid-frequency sonar use, as well as a new sensor that uses small explosive charges.

A report from the International Whaling Commission’s scientific committee, cited by the National Resources Defense Council, says there is compelling evidence linking the use of sonar with a series of recent whale strandings. The NRDC is in the process of suing the US Navy in the hope of halting its use of the system.

The Navy has planned a series of major training exercises, which it claims are “absolutely essential” to protect its sailors and to defend the USA.