- Today the wildlife agency that should be protecting the environment authorized the Navy to harm whales and other marine mammals on an unprecedented scale. And Southern California is the target.
Incredibly, the Navy now has permission to ...detonate more than 50,000 underwater explosives each year off our coast—hundreds of which are powerful enough to sink a warship. And each year it’s allowed to run more than 10,000 hours of the same high-intensity military sonar that has killed and injured whales around the globe. Just by the numbers, the impact of all of this activity is staggering. The Navy itself estimates that it will kill 130 animals outright, permanently deafen another 1,600, and disrupt feeding and calving and other vital behaviors more than 8.8 million times over the next five years.
This summer, a group of biologists found that Navy sonar can cause blue whales—the largest animal ever to live on earth—to stop feeding. That’s a big problem since our waters contain some of the most important blue whale feeding habitat in the entire Pacific Ocean. The biologists concluded that the Navy’s activities are posing a significant risk to the species’ recovery. No one questions the Navy’s need to train, but we shouldn’t have to compromise endangered whales in the process. There has to be a better way.