Friday, January 16, 2009
NOAA's Fisheries Service regs to allow whale and dolphin kills by Navy
by Larry Geller
Navy Allowed to Kill Whales in Hawaii During Sonar Training
WASHINGTON, DC, January 12, 2009 (ENS) - The federal government today issued authorization to the U.S. Navy to impact whales and dolphins while conducting sonar training exercises around the main Hawaiian Islands for the next five years. The letter of authorization and accompanying rules allow for injury or death of up to 10 animals of each of 11 species over the five years covered by the regulations.
The Navy requested authorization under the Marine Mammal Protection Act because the mid-frequency sound generated by tactical active sonar, and the sound and pressure generated by detonating explosives, may affect the behavior of some marine mammals or cause what the Navy calls "a temporary loss of their hearing." [Environmental News Service, 1/12/2009]
(thanks to Arnold Kotler for pointer to this article)
The article includes comments from Taryn Kiekow, marine mammal staff attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. It’s not clear from the article, though, whether there will be a legal challenge to this action.
So this was a 'taking permit' that the Bush Administration awarded to the Navy on the way out the door.
This dumb ass ruling from the federal government misses the point. The active sonar will disturb the whales so much that they will just leave here and start migrating somewhere else.
At a minimum, they shouldn't be allowed to do these exercises here from November through April each year.