Action Alert: Help Gray Whales! No Waiver of The Marine Mammal Protection Act for Makah Whalers


By Kirsten Massebeau

A baby gray whale was killed in the name of “tradition”by Makah whalers in 1999. Some Tribal Elders decried this killing as “non-traditional” yet today the Makah whalers are on the very of getting a waiver of the Marine Mammal Protection Act to again hunt gray whales. The gray whales who have come to trust us need your comments in opposition now!

Alberta Tompson tribal elder died two years ago. According to her daughter she was a huge advocate for the gray whale families that visit our coastlines. That can be seen in her tireless work to stop the whale hunt.

After the whale hunt in 1999 Alberta Tompson and others: “Tribal elders pointed out, in disgust, that no traditional practices had been observed, no traditional rituals had been even remotely respected in the killing of the first whale in nearly a century. They did not even know how to butcher the animal, and had to be shown how to peel back the blubber and render the animal by a visitor from Alaska. While one could argue that they simply needed to re-learn these lost traditions, several Makah tribal elders pointed out at the time that those involved with the hunt exhibited no respect whatsoever for tribal traditions related to the kill, nor did they seem inclined to learn”. (Source: Alberta Tompson, Tribal Elder.)

“They say aboriginal subsistence, but there isn’t that many people so poor here that a whale is going to fill their tummies. We are blessed by living on the oceanside, we can catch fish, we can get mussels, we can get clams and all that rock food. We have grounds that could produce potatoes and all those vegetables. We are not hurting, we’re not poor. Even during the Great Depression we didn’t even know we were in it because we were eating.” (Source: EF! Journal, “A Makah Elder Speaks: Interview with Alberta Thompson.”)

Thompson also took exception to the portrayal of aninmal advocates as being racist for opposing the hunt. Said Thompson:

“Some of the people outside [Neah Bay] call anti-whaling people racist, but they’re not against Indians, they’re against the killing of whales, which I, as an Indian, am against, especially for nothing.” (IBID.)

Finally, Thompson was outraged at the claim of “tradition” when those participating in the hunt failed to follow any semblance of Makah tradition in the killing of the first whale in nearly a century. She described the gap between tradition and reality thusly:

“They say tradition, well the first part of whaling, the tradition is you spend a year of a clean life, spiritually clean, and they didn’t do that. Three of them didn’t pass a drug test. I was at court where one of them had a DUI against him and he was found guilty. But he had the common sense, the good sense of stepping down, not getting back in that canoe. But the three that didn’t pass the drug test stayed in that canoe, so this is certainly not tradition. Right over television you see this boat towing this whale… and they towed it until they were almost into the bay and they then switched it over to the canoe…That is not tradition. The gun is not tradition. The way they disrespected that baby killed, by jumping on it and dancing on it is horrible.” (IBID.) (source)

“In fact, it had been so long since any Makah member had killed a whale that, when one was killed by the Makah in the late 90s, no one knew what to do with it”. (Source: Alberta Tompson, Tribal Elder.)

The Animal Defense Media article from 2009, “The Truth about the Makah Whale Hunt

reveals commercial whaling money has played a role in the Makah whalers bid for wavier of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.

Why, then, was interest suddenly rekindled in the traditional practice of killing whales? Was it really a resurgence of cultural values, a desire to return to the traditions of the past, or even a desire to exercise treaty rights for the sake of the rights themselves? Again, perhaps in part. But it turns out that the machine behind the renewed Makah whale hunt was not really so much about cultural heritage at all, but about money, politics, and cynical commercial whaling interests from Japan and, to a lesser extent, Norway. As it happens, the Makah tribe was getting along fairly well without whaling, and no one had given the practice much thought in several generations. That is, until Western PR firms working with the Japanese commercial whaling industry (make that the Japanese whale “researchers”) came along. It seems that the PR firms had discovered that whaling could be made more palatable to world public opinion if it could be presented as “culturally significant.” In other words, those PC animal advocates would be reluctant to speak up against whaling if a strong case could be made that the killing of whales is an indigenous right sanctified by the hallowed concept of diversity. 
To that end, commercial whaling interests from Japan and Norway kicked in tens of thousands of dollars in 1996 to start a pro-whaling group, the “World Council of Whalers” right next to the Makah territory. Meetings began to ensue between the Japanese whalers and receptive members of the Makah, and money began to flow. It was shortly after this that interest in the “cultural right” to kill whales was suddenly reignited in the Makah tribe. One of the first members of the Makah tribe to suggest a return to the killing of whales was one Dan Greene, who suggested to tribal council members that a single whale could earn the tribe a whopping $500,000 if sold to the Japanese. (Although the terms of the agreement that eventually allowed the killing of whales strictly prohibited the sale of dead whales, Greene and others believed it would be easy to get around that little obstacle. Even John McCarty, the former executive director of the tribe’s whaling commission, indicated that he was enticed by the thought of selling whale meat commercially to Japan.) (Source: The Great American Whale Hunt, by Richard Blow, Mother Jones Magazine.) Oh. Did I mention that the Makah Tribe’s whaling commission and expensive entrance into the IWC was founded on money donated by none other than, you guessed it, Norway and Japan? Yes, this is rather important to add.

Objective data proves whales are highly intelligent beings, but subjective data, “tradition” and “culture” are forever growing and changing. Dr. Lori Marino states it simply:

Dr Lori Marino, a leading researcher in whale and dolphin brain anatomy, notes that the brains of these species have evolved ‘along a different neuro-anatomical trajectory’ to human brains, but provide ‘an example of an alternative evolutionary route to complex intelligence on earth’.

Marino further notes: ‘In particular, the cetacean cerebral cortex (the part of the brain involved in higher-order cognition) evolved along a very different trajectory than other mammals, resulting in a highly unusual arrangement of functional areas and an entirely unique structure, the paralimbic lobe. Yet, despite the vast differences in cortical organization cetaceans and humans (as well as great apes) share a number of complex cognitive abilities, such as self-recognition.  Cetaceans and humans, therefore, are a striking example of evolutionary convergence in psychology among mammals.   These similarities, importantly, mean that cetaceans, as humans, are vulnerable to emotional and social stresses that can lead to considerable harm.  This important point is critical to guiding the ethics of how we interact with and treat cetaceans’.

ACTION ALERT:

The public has until July 31 to comment on a draft environmental impact statement. Follow this link and comment now! 

Sample letter to NOAA

Dear NOAA,

I am writing in opposition to your granting the Makah a waiver, and a permit to hunt gray whales off the Coast of Washington State. You cannot go around the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and allow harming these whales who have come to trust humans, and are loved by whale watchers, residents, and visitors that come to Washington, Oregon, California Coastlines on their way to the birthing bays.

In 2015 there is no “need” to kill whales. The Makah Tribe has access to food, clothing and traditional history. “Tradition” is not an acceptable excuse or objective reason to circumvent the Marine Mammal Protection Act as it is a subject state. Objective data proves gray whales and all cetaceans to be highly intelligent beings who were almost driven to extinction because of hunting. Today the goal should be to protect and celebrate their existence not harm.

If you allow the Makah whalers to kill whales you will be breaking a law, weakening the MMPA and betraying the whales, the whale watching companies and the visitors and whale watchers that bring money into our local economies.To risk the lives of the gray whales, and the lively-hood of whale watching companies, and tourism for an outdated tradition that has no place in a modern world is wrong. Gray whales are highly intelligent and know when they are being hunted. If hunting is resumed the whales may take a different route for migration negatively impacting tourism on the Oregon, Washington and California Coastlines.

In closing I want to reiterate that I oppose any permit to allow the Makah whalers to hunt whales in anyway. If you go forward you will be breaking a law and taking away the protections for the Gray Whale and all cetaceans by weakening the validity of the Marine Mammal Protection Act which came about for a reason.
It is time to stop all hunting of cetaceans who science has proved are highly intelligent beings, and who already face so many challenges to survive in a modern ocean.
Sincerely,

USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) Underway in Japanese Waters Immediately Prior to Melon Headed Whale Stranding


By Kirsten Massebeau

150 melon headed whales washed up onto the shores of of Ibaraki, Japan April 10, 2015 (Japan time). Local residents and officials worked tirelessly to help the melon headed whales but sadly only three were eventually re-floated. These gregarious, and highly intelligent whales live in tight social communities, and are deep divers very susceptible to sonar and seismic testing. Each day strandings are increasing worldwide as the Navy, and Oil and Gas Corporations plunder the ocean with sound in warfare games, and in search of oil and gas pockets.

It is of no surprise to opponents of sonar and seismic testing that this tragic incident would take place. Immediately prior to the stranding the US Navy was roaming the Pacific Ocean U.S. 7th Fleet AOR in Japanese waters.

The Navy openly states, the USS Bonhomme Richard LHD 6 was “Underway” in the first weeks of April. While they will release some locations of their movements, their actions remain “top secret” because of “security”. The LHD 6 is not just one ship but a component of a “fleet” of destroyers, helicopters, and submarines, that move at high speeds emitting sonar, underwater charges, marine fire and many other activities that, “harass” and kill cetaceans. Deep divers like the melon headed whales can suddenly lose control of their ability to pressurize their bodies at deep depths due to the intensified ping of warships, sonar, sonar buoys, and underwater charges.

With the addition of the USS Green Bay to the LDH 6 Bonhomme Richard fleet the US Navy is more ready, and more deadly than ever before in the Pacific.

Armed with sonar, playing war-games, another Naval exercise whose exact locations will forever be undisclosed correlates with a mass stranding.

“Although the exact cause of dolphin stranding is not yet known, scientists had earlier suggested that low- and mid-frequency sonar used by military ships might be interfering with the mammals’ echo-location system, disorienting them and hindering their ability to navigate”.

Naval Exercises Possible Cause of Florida Pilot Whale Strandings


By Kirsten Massebeau and Barbara Napoles

On Tuesday December 3rd  National Park Services found a pod of approximately 51 pilot whales stranded on the edge of the Florida Everglades in shallow waters near Highland Point. They immediately notified NOAA fisheries. On Wednesday December 4th rescuers and scientists arrived on  to assess the situation and attempt to move the pilot whales to deeper water. Rescuers and scientists attempted to use a technique involving sound called  “Oikomi” used by the dolphin hunters of Taiji to herd dolphins to the shallow waters of Hatakejiri Bay, know as “The Cove” where they are slaughtered and captured for the marine parks and aquariums. The banger boats create a semi-circle around the dolphins. They then drop metal poles into the water that they bang on creating a moving wall of sound (source) “On Wednesday, efforts to herd the surviving whales out to sea by forming a semi-circle of boats and making noise by hitting chains on the side and revving the engines did not work”.(Source)

“Of the 51 whales originally stranded, 11 have died, and 5 went missing overnight Wednesday”.(source)

Thursday December 5th rescuers and scientist returned to Highland Point. The remaining 41 whales had left the area: “By Thursday morning, the pilot whales were not in their initial stranding site. As of 11:45am, Thursday, a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter spotted three separate pods of approximately 35 whales spread over 1,000 yards (4 nautical miles) seaward of the Seminole Point/Plover Key area (about 9 miles north of previous stranding location). 15 boats were used to again, and did push the whale 10-15 miles out to deeper water approximately 15 feet deep. “The team was unable to locate the remaining 5 whales from the original pod sighting”.(Source)

Friday morning bought more bad news as two whales were seen swimming in 2-3 feet of water off Plover Key nine miles North of the deceased whales found the day prior. In addition,”Seven whales are free swimming in 12-14 feet of water, Southwest of Plover Key. The larger group of 24 whales has not been relocated”. (source)

Many people are wondering why and how these deep water whales stranded on the shallow shelf of the Gulf Basin with some whales more compromised than others. Pilot whales are known to be deep divers that stay far from shallow waters: “They feed primarily on squid, but they may also feed on octopus and fish, all from moderately deep water of 1000 feet (305 m) or more. When they are swimming and probably looking for food, pilot whales form ranks that can be over a kilometer (more than 1/2 mile) long”.(source) When one is sick the others will often follow but the question still remains as to what caused this stranding and terrible suffering and loss of cetacean life?

High school biology teacher and ocean activist Edward Johnson of Cannon Beach, Oregon posted on Facebook about the MH60R helicopter with this statement: “Just in case the Navy starts explaining how they in no way had anything to do with the Everglades whale stranding. This hybred helicopter has the power to damage the echolocation capacity of these pilot whales”(source) The MH60R is indeed equipped with an impressive array of defensive and counter defensive weaponry:

  • Sonobuoy launcher
  • Raytheon AN/AQS-22 advanced airborne low-frequency (ALFS) dipping sonar.
  • Lockheed Martin AGM-114 Hellfire anti-surface missiles.
  • The MH-60R can carry up to three ATK mk50 or mk46 active / passive lightweight torpedoes.
  •  7.62mm machine gun
  • Lockheed Martin AN/ALQ-210 electronic support measures system (ESM)
  • Electronic warfare systems include the ATK AN/AAR-47 missile warner,
  • Laser warning system
  • BAE Systems AN/ALQ-144 infrared jammer and
  • AN/ALE-39 chaff and flare decoy dispenser.
  • Raytheon AN/AAS-44 detecting / tracking system
  • Forward-looking infrared (FLIR) and laser rangefinder.
  • Telephonics AN/APS-147 multimode radar, which has inverse synthetic aperture (ISAR) imaging and periscope and small target detection capabilities.
  •  AN/APS-153 radar, with the automatic radar periscope detection and discrimination (ARPDD) capability.

“Commander, Strike Force Training Atlantic (CSFTL) is evaluating CSG2 on how well they perform during simulated surface and sub-surface threats and ship movements such as transiting a strait in hostile waters.

“CSFTL will evaluate our ability to perform all the different mission sets,” said Cmdr. Andrew Walton, the operations officer of USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). “This includes everything from counter-piracy to maritime interdiction operations and strike warfare.”(source)

OPAREA. An ocean area defined by geographic coordinates with defined surface and subsurface areas and associated special use airspace. OPAREAs include the following:
Danger Zones. A danger zone is a defined water area used for target practice, bombing, rocket firing or other especially hazardous military activities. Danger zones are established pursuant to statutory authority of the Secretary of the Army and are
administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Danger zones may be closed to the
public on a full-time or intermittent basis (33 Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] 334).(source pg.49)

While NOAA suggests mobilivirus as the cause of the pilot whale strandings ocean activists are questioning as to why the Bush Strike Group Comptuex exercises December 2nd through 8th have not been mentioned. Considering the location of the pilot whales strandings to OPAREA an area designated for Special Use Airspace and other activities this seems negligent.

The Navy has been given what many are calling an excessive number of takes, ” “The Navy estimates it will harm marine mammals over 33 million times in the next five years”(source) Despite public outcry NOAA/NMFS have gone ahead and given the Navy a Letter of Authorization to increase the harm caused to Marine Mammals using archaic mitigation measures such as “look outs,” people looking at the surface for dolphins and whales.

Upon application from the U.S. Navy (Navy), we the National Marine Fisheries
Service (NMFS) are issuing regulations under the Marine Mammal Protection Act to govern the unintentional taking of marine mammals incidental to training and testing activities conducted in the Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing (AFTT) Study Area from November 2013 through November 2018. These regulations allow us to issue Letters of Authorization (LOA) for the incidental take of marine mammals during the Navy’s specified activities and timeframes, set forth the permissible methods of taking, set forth other means of effecting the least practicable adverse impact on marine mammal species or stocks and their habitat, and set forth requirements pertaining to the monitoring and reporting of the incidental take.
DATES: Effective November 14, 2013, through November 13, 2018.(source pg1)

While National Security is important to all American’s when is the price too great to the ocean and ocean life such as the pilot whale who is actually a dolphin, highly evolved and intelligent? We must question whether we have the right to take their lives in the name of training for war.

Naval testing activities in the Atlantic Training Complex can “Take” 15,701 class B harassments and 153 pilot whale deaths within a one year period and 74,614 level B “Takes” and 163 level A recorded death of pilot whales over the five year period(source)

Naval training can “Take” 101,252 level B harassments and 3 pilot whale deaths within a one year period and 506,240 level B harassments and 15 recorded Level A deaths of pilot whales over the 5 year period (source)

Our voice is their only hope. As ocean advocates we must  stand up and speak up and out for the dolphins, whales and all the ocean life that is going to be impacted by the Navy’s ever increasing war games in the oceans. We must demand transparency, we must demand acoustic necropsy and access to those results.

The global community has a right to speak up for the whales and dolphins. Whalers and the captive industry are constantly being reminded by activists that they do not in fact own the whales and the dolphins that inhabit the oceans. Surely we must have the same voice in speaking out against the Navy and their ever increasing training exercises and war games that have the capacity to clear cut our oceans of whales, dolphins and many other species of ocean life.

Update 12/9/2013

We understand that NOAA and the Navy cannot reveal or acknowledge COMPTUEX Naval Exercises because of National Security as was the case with the Cape Cod Strandings. We will be updating as necropsy results become available that we will begin trying to obtain via: the Freedom of Information Act. We encourage all activists to follow up as well.

Follow the NOAA updates on the pilot whales : Here

TWEETSTORM #EndFaroeGrind Trends Globally!


By Kirsten Massebeau

The #EndFaroeGrind Tweetstorm has been declared a success! The new campaign to bring global awareness to the Faroe Islands small cetacean slaughter called the grind (grindadráp) trended at number two on Twitter, a serious accomplishment. Today major media outlets recognize the power of Twitter and dolphin activists are successfully using the power of the Tweetstorm. #EndFaroeGrind Tweetstorm brought Stormers from all corners of the earth to speak up for cetaceans. Activists came out creating a loud voice for the 1534 small whales, and dolphins, that have died violent deaths in the shallow bays of the Faroe Islands. The meat has been deemed toxic, the pilot whale population numbers are data deficient, and the slaughter method is inhumane yet the grind continues. Is this tradition or an adrenaline rush is one of the many issues tweeted.

The beauty of the Tweetstorm is Storm organizers can evaluate their reach. Spreading awareness worldwide is the goal that can be analyzed later in order that Stormers can continue to increase their audience educating the world about the Faroe grind and other dolphin drives.

Google Analytics Audience Overview

Google Analytics Audience Overview of #EndFaroeGrind Tweetstorm

The Global Awareness #EndFaroeGrind team would like to thank dolphin Stormers worldwide. Our first Tweetstorm has proved to be a success, the numbers don’t lie. Remember we are the voice of dolphins and whale everywhere. Without our voice there is no hope. Stormers stay tuned to I Love Dolphins, Save the Blood Dolphins, Champions for Cetaceans, and Ocean Protectors for the next event.

Izumi Ishii Dolphin Eco-Tourism Needs Our Help


By Kirsten Massebeau

Izumi Ishii ex-dolphin hunter turned away from killing dolphins to embrace their intelligence, beauty and friendship. As a young boy Izumi grew up in the world of the dolphin hunters. He saw and photographed many dolphins during dolphin drives in Futo. His appreciation of dolphins turned him away from hunting and towards dolphin and whale watching.

I filmed this pic at the age of a tenth grader (1964).
This dolphin was driven into the port.
This dolphin had very sad eyes on a beach.
I felt it.
Only eyes go out of the surface of the water subtly.
To see it, I pressed the shutter.
This scene is still left to me in a heart. (Izumi Ishii)

He was the first to step away from dolphin hunting. In 1997 Izumi Ishii changed his life forever by turning away from dolphin hunting and instead embracing dolphin and whale watching. In 2002 a dream came true when he began his Dolphin Eco-Tourism business. Since that time he has taken out many people of Japan and other countries to see dolphins and whales in their natural habitat the ocean where they are wild and free. His wish to educate people about these amazing beings came true.

Today he needs our help. His message is one of dolphin freedom and love for dolphins. We must support his voice,and his desire to see all dolphin and whale hunting ended. By supporting Ishii-san we support a new day for the dolphins of Japan.

What can you do to help dolphins in Japan? Support Izumi Ishii as he makes his final payment on the loan due August 10th for Miss Bright Sea. Let us support a dolphin hunters move to dolphin watching. Ishii-san is positive change in Japan! Why you should help:

Ishii san now needs everyone’s help to make this happen. Ishii san was forced to take out a series of loans to get through the tough economy and has remained true to his beliefs that hunting dolphins is no longer the way to earn a living. He has suffered ridicule amongst his fellow Japanese fisherman for speaking out against the drive fisheries. He has hoped he could be a role model in Japan and help lead the eco-tourist movement in Japan. On August 10th the final payment is due. Ishii san needs our help to raise the final 600,000 JY (about $6,000 US Dollars) Ishii san is an example to all Dolphin Hunters in Japan what can happen if you stop the slaughter. It is critical that the world show its support for what he has done. Ishii san has planned to travel to other parts of Japan and share his success as an eco-tourist operator and we need to ensure he has the opportunity to do so. Please make you donation, no matter how small or big today. This is a step in the battle to end the slaughter and we can help!

Donate now and help keep the dream of dolphin freedom and safety from hunting alive!

Acoustic Naval Experiment Promises Deadly Consequences for Whales Dolphins of the Western North Pacific Ocean


By Kirsten Massebeau

Proposed locations of the sonar experiment http://1.usa.gov/15ZUgLl

Proposed locations of the U.S. Naval acoustic experiment (source)

The Office of the Naval Research (ONR) is proposing an acoustic technology experiment (ATE) during spring, summer 2013 in the Western North Pacific:

The nine provinces are discrete areas identified with the following 5 geographic titles as presented in the analysis results herein: Sea of Japan, East China Sea, South China
6 Sea, North Philippine Sea, West Philippine Sea, East of Japan, Offshore Guam, Northwest Pacific 7 Ocean: 25º to 40º North latitude, and Northwest Pacific Ocean: 10º to 25º North latitude.. No more than 8 four underwater acoustic sources will be employed during the experiments, with none of the ONR ATE 9 sources transmitting concurrently, and with all sources operating below 1.5 kilohertz (kHz) and a sound 10 pressure level (SPL) less than 220 decibels (dB) for a total of no more than 69 hours of acoustic
11 transmissions over six days (Source)

All active sources will transmit below 1.5 kHz and a SPL less  15 than 220 dB for a total duration of no more than 69 hours (hr) over six at-sea days (source)

All active sources will transmit below 1.5 kHz and a SPL less
15 than 220 dB for a total duration of no more than 69 hours (hr) over six at-sea days (source)

If the permit to perform this ATE sea life,whales and dolphins living in an already challenging Western North Pacific Ocean riddled with long line fishing, trawlers, hunting, shipping strikes and shipping noise will be exposed to 220 dB for extended periods of time as seen in the chart above.

2000 Bahamas stranding caused by Naval Sonar

2000 Bahamas stranding caused by Naval Sonar

Connections between Naval acoustic activities and strandings are on the rise. While few strandings due to sonar are acknowledged by the Navy the stranding in the Bahamas in 2000 was confirmed and the effects were devastating as noted by cetacean researcher and expert Ken Balcolmb in an interview discussing the 2000 stranding in the Bahamas:

Yes there’s actually hemorrhaging going on. It isn’t an auditory injury per se. It affects the ears, but this pressure damage is not related to whether or not the whales have temporary threshold shift in their hearing [a hearing loss]. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) says these injuries are survivable-and they are, but only with hospitalization. And whales don’t have that option. (source)

Navy sonar recorded 2003 in the Puget Sound.

Orca approach researchers

Orca approach researchers Puget Sound, Washington

Join the voice of opposition to the use of Naval Sonar and all acoustic devices in the oceans.

Please leave a comment asking NOAA/NMFS to deny the Navy’s request for a permit to do  acoustic experiments in the North Pacific. The comment period on this permit ends on May 2, 2013 so get your comment in today! 

Comments on the application should be addressed to P. Michael Payne, Chief, Permits and Conservation Division, Office of Protected Resources, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. The mailbox address for providing email comments is ITP.Magliocca@noaa.gov.

Read the entire permit proposal hereFollow the permits as they are listed here.

Atlantic Seismic Survey Promises Death and Devastation for Dolphins,Whales, and other Sea Life


By Kirsten Massebeau

FIGURE 1. Location of the proposed seismic surveys and OBH/S instruments at the proposed study site in the northeast Atlantic Ocean during  June–July 2013, and marine protected areas in Spain.

FIGURE 1. Location of the proposed seismic surveys and OBH/S instruments at the proposed study site in the northeast Atlantic Ocean during
June–July 2013, and marine protected areas in Spain.

The month of June thru July 12, 2013 promises death and destruction for dolphins, whales, and all the sea life in the Northeastern Atlantic ocean as a seismic survey takes place in a marine protected area. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (L-DE) are planning to do a seismic survey with funding from the U.S. National Science Foundation to search for gas and oil deposits. This planned high energy seismic survey will take place  in International waters in and within the exclusive zone (EEZ) of Spain in water depths greater than 3000 meters or approximately 1 and 3/4 miles under the surface. The Marcus G. Langeth will be towing a 18 gun array of 160-190 Db of deadly sound. The intervals between blasts would be 15 seconds for 39 days without stopping. “Seismic airguns are used to find oil and gas deep underneath the ocean floor. Airguns are so loud that they disturb, injure or kill marine life, harm commercial fisheries, and disrupt coastal economies. These dynamite-like blasts—which are repeated every ten seconds, 24 hours a day, for days and weeks at a time—are 100,000 times more intense than a jet engine.  Seismic airgun testing currently being proposed in the Atlantic will injure 138,500 whales and dolphins and disturb millions more, according to government estimates”.

Blue Voice was on the scene as 2800 dolphins continued to wash up on the beaches of North Peru

Blue Voice was on the scene as 2800 dolphins continued to wash up on the beaches of North Peru

Every day more strandings and cetacean deaths are linked to seismic testing and sonar. In 2012 the deaths of 1000’s of dolphins off the coast of Peru was linked to acoustic trauma:

“The marine veterinarian, Carlos Yaipen-Llanos, who is president of the conservation group Orca Peru, said in an interview that necropsies that he and his colleagues performed on three separate expeditions indicated that the dolphins examined were bleeding in their middle ears and had suffered fractures there. They also had gas in their solid internal organs and severe acute pulmonary emphysema, symptoms consistent with death from decompression sickness — that is, the bends, he said.

“The animals died from decompression sickness caused by acoustic trauma,” he said” (source)

How a seismic test works

How a seismic test works

Air gun before and after discharge.  By Ocean Conservation Research


By Ocean Conservation Research

Listen to the sound of a seismic survey. Try to this explosion repeating every 15 seconds for over a month. Remember this survey has an 18 air gun array!

What can you do? Sign the petition created by Ted Danson and be a voice for dolphins, whales and all ocean life.