The U.S. Navy has agreed to a settlement to end their controversial sonar testing program in key habitats for wales, dolphins and other marine life in the Pacific Ocean.
Washington, D.C. – The U. S. Navy has agreed to a settlement to make vast areas in the Pacific off limits for mid-frequency sonar testing and training as well as the use of poweful explosives.
In December 2013, a lawsuit was filed by EarthJustice to challenge the National Marine Fisheries Service’s approval of a five-year plan by the U.S. Navy for testing and training activities off Hawaii and Southern California, alleging violations of the National Environmental Policy Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act.
In a press release for on the lawsuit, the Biological Diversity Institue said, “Scientists have linked military sonar and live-fire activities to mass whale beaching, exploded eardrums and even death.”
Earlier this year, in March, a federal judge agreed with us and found that the Navy and the fisheries service violated the law. Today, after months of negotiations among all parties, the Navy has agreed to create safe havens to protect these vital marine species.
“If a whale or dolphin can’t hear, it can’t survive,“ said David Henkin, the Earthjustice attorney who brought the case to court. “By agreeing to this settlement, the Navy acknowledges that it doesn’t need to train in every square inch of the ocean and that it can take reasonable steps to reduce the deadly toll of its activities.”
The agreement expires in 2018.
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