Enviro Groups Claim Navy Sonar Harms Whales

Speaking of oceans: Four enviro groups sent a letter to the U.S. Navy this week urging it to change the way it uses sonar so as to avoid harming charismatic sea-dwelling megafauna (that’s our pet name for whales around here). According to the groups, the Navy’s failure to take “feasible, effective, mitigation measures” has caused “the needless infliction of harm to marine mammals and other marine species.” As marine mammals are thought to use sound to navigate and communicate, high-intensity human noise clouding their environment screws them up in a variety of ways; for one, it can frighten them and lead them to surface too quickly and … well, let’s just say they’re found beached with blood coming from their eyes and ears. Yuck. The Navy uses sonar in training exercises to detect enemy submarines (there are still enemy submarines?). A spokesguy for the Navy said it remains “committed to protecting our nation and our natural resources while operating within the law.”