Navy and Marine Mammals: Fact vs. Myth

Dolphins and Navy ship

New York Times
Marine Mammals and the Navy’s 5-Year Plan

Navy Response (10/11/12)

Contrary to “Marine Mammals and the Navy’s 5-Year Plan” (editorial, some editions, Oct. 12), the Navy hasn’t been “forced to acknowledge” anything with respect to the potential damage done by sonar. The science you cite and the estimates you quote are largely our own.

We are recognized leaders in the field of marine mammal research. We know that there is an effect on marine mammals, and we take that very seriously. That’s why we also stop sonar transmissions when marine mammals are sighted, establish safety zones around detonations and maneuver our ships to avoid marine life.

It’s not “wishful thinking” that leads us to believe that the impact of our sonar training would be negligible. It is science and experience.

Americans expect us to be environmentally aware. We are. But they also expect us to defend them, to protect this country at sea. We won’t do that irresponsibly. And we can’t do that if we don’t train.

(Rear Adm.)
John F. Kirby

Additional Response by Respected Marine Biologist Dr. Darlene R. Ketten: The U.S. Navy & Marine Mammals Avoiding Scientific Gaffes in Journalism

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