Time to choose: whales, or US national security?

In the US there are fears that the use of sonar equipment is having an adverse effect on whales. Environmental campaigners have traced a problem of disorientated, stranded whales back to noise pollution from sonar. The Inter-agency Committee on Marine Science and Technology (ICMST) has identified 13 cases of strandings by whales and dolphins that appeared to be linked to noise, adding that most of the cases involved naval vessels.

Humpback whale beached off the coast of Massachussetts

Campaigners gained a success on Friday when a federal judge ruled against the Navy using sonar equipment off the coast of California during training until the end of 2009. However, the Navy are appealing the decision with Third Fleet Commander Vice Admiral Samuel Locklear claiming that the injunction “potentially puts American lives and our national security at risk”.

The appeal will be heard on the 18th of July.