Sounding Out Whales for Clues to Sonar's Effects

Publication: Washington Post

Author: Marc Kaufaman


10/15/2007 - Twenty-two varieties of beaked whales roam the seas, diving as deep as a mile to feed on bottom-dwelling squid and small fish on the dark ocean floor. Shy and seldom seen by man, they are among the least understood large creatures on Earth.

But in recent years, these deepest-diving whales have sent out an unexpected distress signal, alerting researchers and marine mammal advocates, through their confused behavior and beachings, to an environmental hazard that until 10 years ago was not known to exist. The threat comes from very loud noises, especially from Navy sonar, that on at least several occasions have proved fatal to the whales.

View full story -- Sounding Out Whales for Clues to Sonar's Effects -- on Washington Post's Web site.

Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information, visit the Pew Whale Conservation Project campaign.

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