Just as the Army has a responsibility not to train soldiers to shoot in the middle of a crowded city street, the Navy has a duty, when it's learning how to hunt with sonar, not to choose a practice range next to a marine sanctuary.
monty;100844 said:at the risk of being impish, though, it's a bit sad that any opportunity to blame whale problems on a military cause gets a lot of press, but I was shocked and saddened by Steve's research that a lot of whale strandings are driven by starvation in otherwise healthy whales, presumably due to overfishing or pollution-related die-offs.
Steve O'Shea;100846 said:It is death by 1000 cuts Monty; hunger certainly will be a contributing factor to these strandings, with offshore species (such as pilot whales) driven inshore in search of food, then getting trapped/disoriented in the shallows and stranding as a consequence.
To use this sonar equipment next to a marine sanctuary is unacceptable, even if the effects of this activity are not fully understood (invoke the precautionary principle). It defeats the purpose of establishing the sanctuary, especially should it have been established to protect a unique area/flora/fauna (I don't know the politics/rationale behind this sanctuary). Moreover, I don't know the size of the sanctuary, but should it be small, centred on these islands, then there could well be an inadequate buffering area around it to protect what lies within from the effects of active sonar, rendering the effect of any possible sonar activity in the region immediate and long-lasting (I would like to see whether this activity has any effect on species of non-charismatic nature ... like what the fisherfolk refer to as 'bottom filth', the myriad inverts at the bottom of the food chain).
My understanding of a US sanctuary is that they are not reserves, but some level of extraction is permitted from them (i.e. fishing). Is this correct?