Thousands of dolphins, including those that swim off the coast of Fort Lauderdale and other parts of South Florida, could be killed within the next five years via Navy military tests.
According to a recent environmental-impact statement from the military, dolphins living off the East Coast, the Gulf of Mexico, Southern California, and Hawaii could be accidentally killed or severely injured.
The damage wouldn't be just to dolphins' (and whales') being in the line of fire but mostly as a result of detonating explosives underwater, as well as sonar.
Last year, it was reported that the Navy would be more active in testing warships off the coast of Fort Lauderdale. The testing also includes gunnery, missile, and torpedo training.
Basically, the Navy playing war games is a massive disruption to the environment, not just sea life like dolphins, whales, and sea turtles but also to the environment itself.
Sonar, specifically, threatens the animals by disrupting their foraging and forcing them to abandon their habitat or beach themselves. It confuses the animals, oftentimes making them swim in different directions.
The latest report says that computer models estimate a total of 186 whales and dolphins dying or being injured off the East Coast.
The report also says there could be as many as 11,267 serious injuries to sea life and 1,89 million minor ones, including hearing loss.
But the testing, the Navy says, is essential to the nation's combat readiness.
"Without this realistic testing and training, our sailors can't develop or maintain the critical skills they need or ensure the new technologies can be operated effectively," Slates said in a conference call with reporters on Wednesday.
The Navy has said it will use specially trained lookouts as well as other measures to minimize harm to the dolphins and sea turtles who make South Florida their home.
No word, however, on what that means.
What are the "other measures" exactly?
And how are lookouts going to keep dolphins from being injured by sonar?
And what's with us still using a navy for war?
Does al Qaeda have a submarine we don't know about?
What is this, 1809?
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!