about whales and sonar



So I never really knew about the affects Navy Sonar has on whales/cetaceans until very recently, when I did this investigative report, and I really must say, I was completely shocked when I found out that military sonar does far more that simply 'annoy the whales', as I would have guessed was pretty much the extent of what it did.


First off, I thought I'd do a quick post about whales and sonar because I read a news story on the 22nd about a military explosion off the coast of Washington that killed a 3 year old orca- a member of the endangered L-pod (L112).
In a nutshell, Whales use echolocation, which is also a sonar-like system and because of this, they receive sound waves through their jawbone; the vibrations traveling through the hollow space in their jaw and then to their inner ear. Because of this, when high-frequency sonar hits their jaw, it causes small pockets of gas in the animal's body to rush into their bloodstream, where they can easily clog and cause hemorrhaging in the brain.


Many whales have been beached as they try to escape the sound. (See "Sounds of the Seas: A science Detective story" for more info on strandings and sonar).





While it is important that countries have military sonar, it is also very important that these endangered wild populations stay safe and healthy in order for our oceans to survive.


I'll be posting more info, hopefully soon, about writing to your government and asking that they test sonar devices in areas where these marine mammals will not be affected, but in the mean time, do visit http://www.orcanetwork.org/news/shoup.html and scroll all the way down for information on mailing letters to government representatives!


This is such an important issue and I'm sorry that I can't do into more details, as this is just a quick post- but PLEASE, take the time to do a little research! It's really important that we know exactly what is going on within our oceans, because we need the oceans to stay alive in order to stay alive ourselves.


BlueFreedomFoundation
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For our Oceans,
Sailor




Photos from http://www.imaginaryforces.com/archive/alphabetical/nrdc-sonar/ and Center for Whale Research: Thank you!

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