Navy Sonar System Threatens Marine Mammals

The U.S. government use a powerful new system
despite evidence that military sonar kills marine animals,

The U.S. Navel surveillance sensor system

is capable of transmitting signals as powerful as 215 decibels.
Marine scientists believe whales are affected by sounds louder than 110 decibels.
At 180 decibels, a whale's eardrums can explode.

Whales are not the only ones who will be affected by this new military system;
dolphins and other higher functioning mammals of the world's oceans are equally at risk.

The navy's strategic plan is to cover 80 per cent of the world's oceans with the new active sonar system.

The system functions like a floodlight, scanning the ocean for vast distances and areas with intense sound.
Each transmitter can generate 215 decibels of sound.

Scientists say this sound level is not only unsafe for whales and dolphins, but can also kill human divers in its path.
The navy's own testing has indicated that when the signals expand, the sound range can reach 240 decibels.
To place the system in context, a decibel scale is much like the Richter scale for earthquakes: each employs small differences to increasing orders of magnitude.

The technologies operating in these crowded neighborhoods can be ear-splittingly loud -- more than 238 decibels, according to Navy test plans.
That's 4.3 billion times as loud as the sounds that can cause people pain, estimates William Wilgus, director of The Public Cause Network.
It's about the equivalent of a Saturn rocket lifting off.

NEWS BULLETIN: On July 16, 2002, the U.S. Navy was given a permit to deploy Low-Frequency Active sonar, a submarine-detection system, across as much as 80 percent of the world's oceans. The permit exempts the Navy from the Marine Mammal Protection Act, allowing it to harm whales, dolphins, and other species while flooding the oceans with intense sound. The permit is too broad to afford any meaningful protection for marine life. NRDC -- leading a coalition of environmental groups -- has sued the U.S. Navy and the National Marine Fisheries Service to block deployment of the system. (Press release.)

Don't let them blast whales and other marine mammals with dangerous sonar -- take action now.

The U.S. Navy wants to keep tabs on the seas. But it's facing A whale of a problem: The technologies it says it needs to spy on enemy subs are so loud that they can ruin the lives of nearby leviathans, which rely on their ears like we use our eyes.

By Diana Muir
Eavesdropping on the ocean's gossip

The haunting underwater song of whales has become such familiar music that it is easy to forget that a generation ago no human had ever heard the voice of the leviathan, much less attempted to understand what they were saying. Alexandra Morton listens to whales. In their songs, she hears not only the beauty and mystery of the deep, but keys to the complex lifeways of a species. Her "Listening to Whales" is the coming of age story of a scientist, a surprising story because Morton's first adult steps were taken in a decidedly unscientific direction.

U.S. Message:
Go Back to Sleep America,
we are taking care of our freedom from the
Marine Mammal Protection Act, allowing us to harm whales and dolphins

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