U.S. Navy's Sonars and Explosives Could Hurt more Dolphins and Whales Than Previously Thought

Marine Mammals Haven't Evolved to Handle This

We already knew that some of the operations of the U.S. military (and of the military of other countries) could be harmful to marine life, including very smart mammals like dolphins and whales. But now, new research by the U.S. Navy itself reveals that its use of sonar and explosives could be even more harmful than previously thought.

The Navy estimates its use of explosives and sonar may unintentionally cause more than 1,600 instances of hearing loss or other injury to marine mammals in one year.

It calculates its use of explosives may inadvertently cause more than 200 marine mammal deaths a year. (source)

This is a massive increase over the Navy's previous estimates of only 100 marine mammals injured or killed. If they were this far off before, it makes me wonder if maybe they are still underestimating the numbers now...

Marine mammals haven't evolved in an environment that included things like high-powered sonars and underwater explosions. We wouldn't be flying supersonic jets at low altitude over our cities, so we shouldn't (as much as possible) do the equivalent to marine mammals.

Via CBS

See also: Protecting 4% of the Oceans at 9 Locations Could Save Most Marine Mammals Species

Tags: Animals | Oceans