US Navy Sonar System Blocked by Federal Court

Date: 1/12/2003

A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction stopping the US Navy from deployment of a new high intensity sonar system that could hurt or kill whales, dolphins, seals and sea turtles with its loud signals. On 15 July the Navy received its permit to ‘harass marine mammals’ in the course of operating low frequency sonar used to detect submarines while remaining outside the range of their onboard weapons. The environmental groups argued that the survival of entire populations of whales and other marine mammals are jeopardized by the deployment of this sonar, which has been measured at 140 decibels 300 miles away from the sound’s source.

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