Feds grant Navy permit for sonar training
SAN DIEGO (AP) – The National Marine Fisheries Service is granting the Navy permits for its plans that will intensify its sonar use in the Pacific over the next five years, despite the objection of environmentalists who say the military is not doing enough to protect marine mammals from the loud underwater noise.
The federal agency announced the ruling Monday. The military estimates the training and testing program could inadvertently kill 155 whales or dolphins off Hawaii and Southern California, mostly from explosives.
Environmentalists believe the harm is greater. The California Coastal Commission in March rejected the plan but lacks the power to block the Navy.
In its ruling, NMFS said it will review the latest scientific data yearly with the Navy to determine if enough is being done to mitigate the risks.