The US Navy has recently been ordered to lower down the levels of sonar it uses as it was causing harm to marine life. The sonar being used within the nation’s oceans were causing a negative effect to sea life, which include dolphins, walruses, whales, and other marine mammals.
Sonar Levels Used by US Navy to be Lowered Down as it Was Causing Harm to Marine Life
Recently, a federal appeals court has reversed a decision that was previously taken by a lower court pertaining to the usage of low-frequency sonar being used by the US Navy. The appeals court noted that the Navy was wrongly allowed to use the particular sonar in the first place, despite them knowing that using it could potentially harm marine mammals and other sea life. Dolphins, whales, and other aquatic life depend on sonar or echolocation techniques to navigate underwater. Hence, when the low-frequency sonar was being used, it can cause adverse effect to these animals. Essentially, the appellate panel has already sent back the case to the lower court for reconsideration.
The Ninth United States Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court decision as it upheld approval that was granted back in the year 2012 for the United States Navy to use low-frequency sonar for testing, training, and routine operations, as per a report from ABC News. Apparently, officials from the nation should not have permitted the use of the low-frequency sonar in the first place within the surrounding oceans, as well as in the waters that are currently protected under various international treaties.
The Navy had been granted the use of the low-frequency sonar within the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans, as well as within the Mediterranean Sea due to an authority that was granted back in 2012, according to a report from RT. This particular approval has a validity of five years, and it would be up for review after that time period had elapsed. The rules that were drafted back in 2012, which were adopted by the National Marine Fisheries Service, permitted the Navy to use low-frequency sonar. In a fit of worry, the agency even approved the Navy’s arrangement to send out 18 deep water loudspeakers over the same timeframe.
Aside from the use of the low-frequency sonar, the US Navy was also banned from using loud sonar pulses, as these have a higher intensity for better clarity of finding things within the ocean’s depths. However, these higher intensity sonar have lower travel distance underwater, and they are more commonly used near coastlines and in certain protected waters.
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