Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Follow-up on Whales and Sonar

Dr. Tepley just sent out an informative piece regarding active sonar and marine mammals. I am reposting part of it here:

The Navy draft EIS for use of sonar as part of the Hawaii Range Complex is seriously flawed - feel free to circulate:

Aloha all:

I forced myself to scan thru the 116 page Draft EIS and was amazed to find that it almost completely ignores the most serious problems that mid-frequency (MFA) sonar will cause to deep diving whales in Hawaiian waters. Therefore, I think that additional analysis should be done and the Draft EIS should be completely rewritten.

The web page might be easier to read than the PDF document. To get there first go to my Superferry web site at
Then click on the link near the top of the page called "Link to Sonar HRC DEIS page."

Before you start clicking, you might be interested in the following background information.
About 7 years ago I spent a lot of time researching both Low frequency (LFA) and mid frequency (MFA) sonar. My efforts were actually taken seriously and I was invited to present a paper at a NMFS workshop in Silver Springs Md. in 2002. My paper turned out to be of no great importance - but I was fortunate to be present to hear new ideas relating to the causes of stranding and death of deep diving whales - and especially beaked whales.

At the NMFS meeting the concept of whales getting decompression sickness (the bends) was seriously debated. As a result, Dr. John Potter, who attended the meeting and is a brilliant physicist, wrote a paper on the subject of whales getting the bends.

Dr. Potter's results are now widely accepted and other scientists have written similar papers - but in the HRC draft EIS, the Navy has almost ignored this highly relevant work. Instead, their scientists and mathematicians went off on a tangent similar to what they had done in other earlier EIS's. The result is a 116 page document which, I think, ignores the threat to deep diving whales from mid frequency (MFA) sonar.

Now, you might want to click on the PDF file or go to my new sonar web site.

Aloha, Lee

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