Mass whale deaths caused by sonar
TOKYO – The U.S. Navy’s deployment of active sonar to detect submarine activity is believed to have been responsible for at least six incidents of mass death and unusual behavior among pods of whales in the last 10 years, according to a recent U.S. Congressional Research Service report.
The CRS report also listed five other incidents in which smaller whales, such as goose-beaked whales, harbor porpoises and killer whales, were found beached and dead in groups of a few to nearly 20. Many of the dead mammals had damaged hearing organs, and all five incidents coincided with U.S. naval exercises in the areas, the report said.
The potential impact of active military sonar on marine mammals, whose hearing is critical for their survival, has long been a concern. Even the deployment of low-frequency active sonar is said to cause a roaring sound comparable to that of a twin-engine jet fighter, while the midfrequency sound is believed to equal that of a rocket. Experts have warned that the sound could critically damage the mammals’ hearing organs.</i>
Too bad for you, Mr Whale. The war machine must keep on rolling.