Navy sonar blamed for whale stranding

Apr 28, 2006

Experts say U.S. Navy sonar may have caused the stranding of 200 deep-diving melon-headed whales in a Hawaiian bay in 2004, but the Navy won't take the blame.

Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say they cannot definitely say the Navy sonar caused the stranding by confusing and frightening the sea mammals, but their extensive study showed there was no other likely cause, reports The Washington Post.

The incident occurred in Hanalei Bay in Kauai during a major U.S.-Japanese sonar training exercise at the nearby Pacific Missile Range Facility. The whales were later led back to sea.

"I think that if you look at the report, there are just so many unknown factors at work that to say sonar was a plausible if not likely cause is erroneous," Lt. Commander Christy Hagen of the U.S. Pacific Fleet in Hawaii told the newspaper.

The NOAA report comes in the wake of a series of scientific reviews linking traditional mid-frequency naval sonar to whale strandings, the report said.

The Navy is planning another major sonar testing maneuver in the same area in July but the NOAA has asked for the use of expanded measures to protect the whales.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: 3Qs: Game theory and global climate talks

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Rutherford's secret war mission helped pioneer 'sonar'

Nov 10, 2014

Manchester scientist Ernest Rutherford – famed for "splitting the atom" – also deserves better recognition for helping to pioneer a system we now know as sonar as part of a top secret World War One defence project.

Synthetic aperture sonar to help Navy hunt sea mines

Jun 19, 2014

(Phys.org) —Since World War II, sea mines have damaged or sunk four times more U.S. Navy ships than all other means of attack combined, according to a Navy report on mine warfare. New sonar research being ...

Malaysia defends military inaction on MH370 radar

May 19, 2014

Malaysia's defense minister on Monday defended his military's failure to scramble a fighter jet to follow a Malaysian airliner when it veered off course and vanished two months ago, saying it wasn't seen as a hostile object.

A robot dives into search for Malaysian Airlines flight

Apr 18, 2014

In the hunt for signs of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370—which disappeared on March 8 after deviating for unknown reasons from its scheduled flight path—all eyes today turn to a company that got its start ...

China demands Malaysia turn over satellite data

Mar 25, 2014

China demanded that Malaysia turn over the satellite data used to conclude that a Malaysia Airlines jetliner had crashed in the southern Indian Ocean killing everyone on board, as gale-force winds and heavy ...

Recommended for you

3Qs: Game theory and global climate talks

Nov 21, 2014

Last week, China and the United States announced an ambitious climate agreement aimed at reducing carbon emissions in both countries, a pledge that marks the first time that China has agreed to stop its growing emissions. ...

From hurricanes to drought, LatAm's volatile climate

Nov 21, 2014

Sixteen years ago, Teodoro Acuna Zavala lost nearly everything when Hurricane Mitch ravaged his fields, pouring 10 days of torrential rains on Central America and killing more than 9,000 people.

Nicaragua: Studies say canal impact to be minimal

Nov 20, 2014

Officials said Thursday that studies have determined a $40 billion inter-oceanic canal across Nicaragua will have minimal impact on the environment and society, and construction is to begin next month.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.