undersea sensing a threat to wildlife

A start, although I’m skeptical that the ruling will find its way into practice:

A federal judge on Monday ordered the Navy to stop using medium-range sonar in training exercises off Southern California, saying that the Navy’s own assessments predicted that dozens of marine mammals, particularly deep-diving whales, could be harmed by the intense sound waves.

3 Responses to “undersea sensing a threat to wildlife”

  1. ShaneTuck says:


    My name is Petty Officer Shane Tuck, and I have some information on the Navy’s perspective on this issue. The Navy issued the following release regarding the court decision:

    Aug. 6, 2007

    Court halts Navy’s ability to train realistically off Southern California

    SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Navy officials say they are deeply concerned by today’s federal court ruling that prohibits the Navy from training realistically before deploying Sailors and Marines potentially into harm’s way.

    A U.S. district judge in Los Angeles granted a preliminary injunction — requested by the Natural Resources Defense Council and other environmental and animal protection groups — that bars the Navy from using active sonar during critical joint task force training exercises and composite training unit exercises through 2009 in the ocean off Southern California.

    “We are disappointed in the court’s decision and plan to appeal the imposition of an injunction,” said Mr. Don Schregardus, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for the environment. “The decision puts Sailors and Marines at risk by ordering the Navy to stop critical anti-submarine warfare training while we complete Environmental Impact Statements on our training ranges.”

    Vice Adm. Samuel Locklear, the San Diego-based commander of the U.S. Third Fleet who oversees naval training in the Eastern Pacific, said, “To the extent this court decision prevents us from using active sonar, it potentially puts American lives and our national security at risk.”

    The Navy has conducted similar exercises in the Southern California Operating Area for 70 years and has used similar active sonar technology for the past 40 years.

    “In all those years, not a single stranding or injury of a marine mammal has been associated with the Navy’s use of MFA sonar in the Southern California Operating Area,” Locklear said.

    Read full article at

    For more information, I recommend viewing

  2. sieber says:

    Well, ShaneTuck, you have been busy posting on all the blogs that have linked to this article. I happen to have friends who work as Navy researchers. I respect their work and know that if they say there’s a problem then there’s a problem. Of course, the Navy PR wing could just pressure the rest of the organization to fire its research arm and then try to bully the scientists. Nothing like fear to squelch independent inquiry. Who needs science in the Navy, anyway? Right?

    The Navy has known about this problem for decades. It has had a chance to fix it and has done little to nothing. Perhaps this injunction will spur a little innovation on the Navy’s part.