The US Navy has announced that it will look again at ways to assess potential harm inflicted on whales and dolphins when planning its training and testing exercises in the Pacific Ocean from December 2018 onward.
The announcement follows a federal court ruling back in March that highlighted the US Navy’s failure to consider restricting military exercises within parts of their Hawaii-Southern California Training and Testing Study Area in order to protect harmful impacts on marine mammals nearby.
Shortly after the ruling, the US Navy agreed to limit further use of powerful sonar and explosives in naval exercises off Hawaii and California.
Whales and dolphins use sound to communicate, navigate and find food. Loud noise from explosives and high frequency sonar can cause them to strand on coastlines, and even kill them.