Has the US Navy sonar broke whale protection laws ?

A whale's tail
Whales may travel hundreds of miles to avoid the sound of sonar, experts claim

Sonar approved for use by the US Navy broke marine laws, a US appeals court has ruled.

The low-frequency active sonar, approved in 2012, is used to detect enemy submarines.

But it can also harm whales, dolphins and walruses that rely on underwater sound for navigating, catching prey and communicating, according to environmental groups.

The case will now be sent back to a lower court for further consideration.

In 2012, the National Marine Fisheries Service permitted navy sonar use but required it to shut down or delay use when a marine mammal was detected near the ships. Loud sonar pulses were also banned near coastlines and in certain protected waters.

Environmental groups, led by the Natural Resources Defense Council, filed a lawsuit in response, claiming the approval violated the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

The San Francisco federal appeals court ruled that the approval rules granted to the US Navy failed to meet a section of the protection act that required the programme to have “the least practicable adverse impact on marine mammals”.

While it said it believed the navy had attempted to follow guidelines, it concluded that the fisheries service “did not give adequate protection to areas of the world’s oceans flagged by its own experts as biologically important”.

According to experts, the sonar systems used by the navy generate sound waves that can reach 235 decibels – a loud rock band reaches around 130.

These sound waves can travel for hundreds of miles under water and can retain an intensity of 140 decibels as far as 300 miles from their source.

Although direct correlations are hard to find, some scientists believe that the use of sonar has changed the behaviour of whales which have been observed swimming away, sometimes hundreds of miles, rapidly changing their depth and beaching themselves.

Credit BBC

Saratoga Springs fire footage

UPDATE TUESDAY June 30th, 7:15 AM: Fire containment at 30% and 12,500 acres through the night. Residents south of Grandview Blvd and west of Redwood Rd still under a YELLOW evacuation warning. Redwood Rd open. Please STAY OFF Lake Mountain. It is entirely closed to...

Great White Shark Swims with Surfers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUCDQcCOJ4o A drone has captured a great white shark swimming within inches of surfers paddling through the water in South Africa. Luckily no one was injured by the shark who was just investigating the surfers,...

Buffalo Cops Shove 75 Year old to Ground

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USoRxhGtDYg Prosecutors are investigating the actions of two Buffalo police officers who were suspended without pay on Thursday night after a video showed them shoving a 75-year-old protester, who was hospitalized with a head injury....

A passenger on a Delta Air Lines flight had coronavirus and was contagious, officials said

A passenger who flew out of John F. Kennedy International Airport to Rochester, New York, over the weekend had coronavirus and was contagious, the Monroe County Health Department tweeted Wednesday night.The Delta Air Linesflight left JFK at 4:05 p.m. on...

Chemical spill at Kennecott facility contained with no risk to public, authorities say

About 8,200 gallons of hydrochloric acid leaked from a tank at a Kennecott facility in Magna following Wednesday morning's earthquake. Unified Fire Authority Chief Dan Petersen said most of the chemical, which leaked out of a 12,000-gallon tank, was contained to a...

Number of Utahns without power due to earthquake down to about 6K

At one point after Wednesday's earthquake struck Utah, nearly 75,000 people were being affected by power outages, but the number of people without power is now about 5,700, according to Rocky Mountain Power. Crews have been working on the outages and hope to have...

Magna declares emergency in wake of earthquake

The 5.7 magnitude earthquake sent shockwaves throughout the Wasatch Front, but in Magna, located near the epicenter, the largest temblor in Utah in 28 years has led to a state of emergency declaration. Residents the town on the west edge of Salt Lake County woke...

Flights departing from Salt Lake International Airport again

The first flight to depart the Salt Lake International Airport, which was headed to Dallas-Fort Worth, left the airport at 2:54 p.m., according to airport officials. The airport had previously been closed due to Wednesday morning's earthquake. A tower was damaged, and...

Salt Lake City and South Salt Lake City declare emergencies due to earthquake

Both Salt Lake City and South Salt Lake City have declared emergencies so the cities can better respond to the needs of citizens in the aftermath of the earthquake that hit Utah on Wednesday morning. “Signing this declaration will help us to ensure that Salt Lake City...

Salt Lake County Emergency Coordination Center fully activated; call 911 for emergencies, 211 for questions

SLCo Emergency Mngt.@SLCoEmerMngt · 1h Salt Lake County Emergency Coordination Center is fully activated. This is an evolving situation with multiple agencies coordinating. We ask the public to avoid going out, as crews are working to evaluate damage. Our...

Earthquake updates: 4.6 aftershock hits Utah, largest since initial quake

The strongest earthquake to hit Utah in 28 years rocked the state just after 7 a.m. Wednesday. The U.S. Geological Survey initially reported the 5.7 magnitude quake hit just northeast of Magna about 7:09 a.m. No deaths have been reported as a result of the...

Utah’s Best Family Law Attorney * After Hours Lawyer

Mr. Berube focuses his practice on high-conflict Domestic Litigation, Divorce, Estate Planning, Business Planning, and all forms of Civil Litigation. Mr. Berube is with Cragun Berube, P.C. Firm and was selected by Utah Business Magazine as a “Top Lawyer”. Mr. Berube...