02 Mar '12, 9pm

Researchers to Navies: Stop Using Sonar Near Puget Sound

Researchers to Navies: Stop Using Sonar Near Puget Sound

Last month the Canadian Navy ran an active sonar exercise in one of the worst places in the world for it: the straits and channels outside Puget Sound, Washington. Not only do these waters create a natural duct for sonar noise, heightening the danger for marine life, they’re considered critical habitat for the Northwest’s iconic killer whales – and protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Now a group of sixteen scientists – representing much of the Northwest killer whale research community – have come out with a simple message for both the Canadian and U.S. Navies: keep high-intensity sonar out of the whales’ critical habitat. In their statement, the researchers point out the acute vulnerability of killer whales to sonar: Killer whales are sensitive to the frequencies emitted by MFA sonar (2-10 kHz) and use the same frequency range to communicate with calls and whi...

Full article: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/mjasny/researchers_to_n...

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