Jennifer Marquez 0

Save Our Whales

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After watching the documentary Sonic Sea, directed by Michelle Dougherty and Daniel Hinerfeld, I became aware of how endangered our whales are. The noise that is caused by shipping, seismic and sonar blasts is impacting the way whales communicate, find food, navigate, and breed. As a result there have been many beachings and strandings, causing the death of many whales all around the world. What I want to focus on is the amount of sonar noise that is caused by the US Navy.

Sonars are an enormous predator to whales. The noise that it causes leads whales to abandon their habitat, which has resulted in mass whale strandings in the Canary Islands and Caribbean and all the way to Japan. The reason sonar noise affects whales so much is because sound is essential not only to whales but to all marine life. Whales communicate with each other through sound, it’s how they live. They can’t escape the noise that is caused by sonars. They are essentially trapped which has resulted in many whales being found on shore with blood around the brains and ears. Those who try escaping these noises end up on shores struggling to survive.

Next, the US Navy needs to do more to stop these testings that are hurting and killing off whale populations. We need them to stop using sonar and acoustic devices in the Pacific. As the Navy has said that the "impact of sonar and other acoustic sources during training activities under Alternative 2 may expose marine mammals up to 2,524,784 times annually to sound levels that would be considered Level B harassment, as defined by the MMPA" (Marine Mammal Protection Act). We need to take action and protect our whales from extinction.

We need the Navy to stop these tests that they themselves have admitted that most of the marine life deaths come from,which is the detonation of explosives, sonar testing or animals being hit with the propellers of ships. Although the Navy keeps insisting these tests are for homeland security and show no indication of stopping, we need to hold them accountable. They don’t have to test in areas where they know whales are around. Why not do this testing where there are little to no whales around. We might not be able to stop them from sonar testing but we could put a restriction on where they do it, and that should be far away from areas with a high whale population. It’s not a complete stop but it’s a start.

Finally, hundreds of whales are dying each year. It’s up to us to help these poor animals that can’t escape the pain they suffer on a daily as a result of sonar testing, shipping boats, and seismic. By putting a limit or restriction to where the navy does their sonar testing we would already be helping so many whales and other marine life.

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