Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Friday, July 31, 2009

Possible New Sonar Rules to Protect Marine Life

The use of sonar is controversial because of its harmful effects on marine life such as whales. The Navy has been able to get away with using it for "national security" reasons. But there may be rules on their way to help mitigate the damage, at least in the Pacific Northwest.

From the Seattle P-I (yep, the online newspaper!)...
A new set of rules might be in the works for the U.S. Navy's use of sonar off the Washington and Oregon coasts. The goal is to decrease the harm that sonar does to marine mammals.

The National Marine Fisheries Service and Navy expect to make a joint decision on such measures by the end of the year, NMFS spokesman Peter Fischel said.

If approved, those measures would be in effect from 2010 to 2015 for the Navy's training area in the Pacific Ocean off the Washington, Oregon and Northern California coasts.
On the negative side...
Meanwhile, the Navy is also asking NMFS to allow incidental harm and fatalities to marine mammals from training exercises in a 122,400-square-mile section of the Pacific Ocean off the Northwest coast.

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