Skip to content
All articles
  • All articles
  • About whales & dolphins
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Fundraising
  • Green Whale
  • Prevent bycatch
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Stop whaling
Clear the list graphic

Clear WDC’s Amazon Wishlist for Giving Tuesday

UPDATE: We are thrilled to report that everything was donated off of our Amazon Wishlist...
Fin whales are targeted by Icelandic whalers

Speaking truth to power – my week giving whales a voice

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting is where governments come together to make decisions about whaling...
The Codfather being good with Anvil kick feeding right next to them_0761 branded

Spout Spotters: Boater Safety Around Whales Online Course Launches

After countless hours behind the computer, bountiful snacks, and a few stress relieving walks with...
WDC team at UN Ocean conference

Give the ocean a chance – our message from the UN Ocean Conference

I'm looking out over the River Tejo in Lisbon, Portugal, reflecting on the astounding resilience...
65556ab2635fdab7b4e12265b9623d64

Stream to Sea: Orca Action Month 2022

This June was an exceptionally busy and exciting Orca Month, starting with a somewhat surprising...
We need whale poo ? WDC NA

Whales are our climate allies – meet the scientists busy proving it

At Whale and Dolphin Conservation, we're working hard to bring whales and the ocean into...

It’s Time To Breach The Snake River Dams

The Snake River dams were controversial even before they were built.  While they were still...
Nat Geo for Disney+ Luis Lamar

Five Facts About Orcas

Orcas, also known as killer whales, are one of the most recognizable and popular species...

US Navy to better protect whales

A BIG win on the protection of whales from US military sonar will have knock-on effects for marine life throughout the worlds’ oceans.

In the U.S. District Court’s District of Hawaii, a federal court settlement was ratified between Natural Resources Defence Council, other US environmental groups and the federal government to restrict and limit mid-frequency sonar and explosives activities off areas of the U.S. west coast in Hawaiian and Californian waters.


Last year, a number of US conservation groups filed litigation in U.S. federal court challenging Navy sonar and underwater explosives activity off Southern California and Hawaii. The Court ruled in favour of plaintiffs on multiple grounds.

Following intensive negotiations to protect marine mammals, while meeting national security needs, the US Court has now entered this agreement as an Order. 

For the first time, the US Navy has agreed to restrict and limit mid-frequency sonar and explosives activities off the U.S. west coast and to expand restrictions off Hawaii beyond humpback whales.  The settlement protects blue whale foraging grounds off San Diego County, beaked whale habitat around California’s Channel Islands, and waters around the Big Island, Maui, and Molokai that are home to numerous small, resident populations of odontocetes. 

Other provisions are intended to reduce ship-strike risk for large whales and secure research funds for beaked whale populations off Southern California.

This is a truly great result and we applaud our conservation colleagues, the US Navy and all involved in making it happen. But of course there is always more to do!

We need to see robust mitigation measures like these in all oceans – and applied by all Navies. Constructive dialogue, increased resources and commitment are needed to restrict active sonar in important marine habitats globally, not just in US waters. WDC will continue to work with Navies to better protect whales and dolphins everywhere from military activities.

We must also remember that whales and dolphins face other threats and so transparent environmental impact assessment is vital, to ensure impacts relating to military activities can be assessed and managed alongside those from pollution, ship strikes, climate change and so on.

Thanks to Michael Jasny, NRDC, for the details of this blog. More details can be found here: https://medium.com/natural-resources-defense-council/a-whale-of-a-win-afeb1f0cb71a

Blue whale photo © Tim Stenton