A coalition of animal rights and environmental advocacy groups have won a court battle granting them an injunction banning the USN from operating
certain active sonar equipment during upcoming ASW [ anti submarine warfare ] exercises . The temporary restraining order banning the use of active
sonar in the Hawaii area was granted by Judge Cooper a Federal justice , after environmental groups returned to court to argue that the DoD was
granting the military exemptions from federal legislation in an attempt to circumvent law suits .
This week, environmentalists won a temporary restraining order to stop the Navy from using a high-intensity sonar during this year's Rim of the
Pacific 2006 exercise, which had scheduled sonar use to start Thursday…………..
The Natural Resources Defense Council, the environmental group leading the legal battle, says whales have been stranded and died on beaches worldwide
after being exposed to mid-frequency sonar. It says sonar can impair the ability of marine mammals to use their own underwater sounds to navigate,
avoid predators, find food and care for their young.
"Whales and other marine life should not have to die for practice," said Joel Reynolds, council senior attorney. "Of course the Navy needs to
train, and our lawsuit doesn't seek to prevent them from training. Our goal is simply to require them to incorporate a series of common-sense
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This is eco-extremism at its worst , even the causal link between whale beachings and sonar is unproven , with the Navy strenuously disputing it .
whales have beached them selves in various numbers since human records began , and regularly beach in areas where no sonar exercises occur . pollution
, commercial maritime activity and other factors are all thought to play a part in the beachings , to blame it all on sonars is short sighted madness
There is no reason for the navy to recklessly endanger marine life , but they must be allowed to train hard – to fight easy . And they cannot do
that with one hand tied behind their backs
The 1972 legislation used to bring this case , the Marine Mammal Protection Act is so hopelessly open ended . In theory it could be used to argue
naval activity was “ harassment “ of some example of marine fauna .
Its good to know that when WWIII starts the whales will be safe , at least till the balloon goes up . As it stands I suspect that NK and others will
be rubbing their hands with glee at the realisation that should conflict occur , the USN will be that bit less prepared .
But the whales will be safe , so we can all sleep soundly
Related News Links:
text of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) of 1972 :
blogger analysis of the case :
[edit on 8-7-2006 by ignorant_ape]
[edit on 7/8/06 by FredT]
[edit on 8/7/2006 by Mirthful Me]