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LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Comment deadline for Navy study near
For years scientists have wondered why whales, for no apparent reason, would choose to cast themselves out of the water to die of dehydration on some beach. Now we know. They were trying to escape from the tortuous noise of our war machines.
Not just explosives but “active sonar” which is used in antisubmarine warfare and to map the ocean floor. We now know it disrupts feeding and breeding, but also ruptures eardrums and bursts lungs. Think of a series of sonic booms or lightning flashes going off in your face. You would probably want to escape as well.
These sounds travel for hundreds of miles in the water. Nevertheless, the Navy wishes to radically increase these operations. By their own estimation, their actions will cause more than 500,000 instances of marine mammal injuries including at least 250 deaths; 275,000 instances of temporary hearing loss and 600 instances of permanent hearing loss over the next five years.
A deaf whale is the equivalent of a blind bird. It will not survive in the natural world. There are no hearing ear dogfish to assist them. You can view the Navy’s draft Environmental Impact Statements (EIS/OEIS) and submit comments here: www.NWTTEIS.com
Tell them they must not increase the damage already being done to our beleaguered marine mammals. They could even adopt the strategies for protecting them as the governments of England and Spain have.
The deadline for comments is April 15, 2014.