July 2006

Whales protected during sonar training exercise

Under legal pressure from NRDC, the U.S. Navy agreed to put safeguards in place to reduce the threat of deadly mid-frequency sonar to marine mammals during an eight-nation military training exercise underway in waters off Hawaii. The settlement, reached after intense litigation and days of tough negotiation, required the Navy to create a sonar-free buffer zone around the newly established Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument, as well as to significantly improve its monitoring of marine mammals during sonar drills. BioGems Defenders have sent tens of thousands of messages urging the Navy to adopt common-sense measures during peacetime exercises to protect marine mammals from mid-frequency sonar, which has repeatedly caused numerous mass strandings and deaths of whales on beaches around the world.