Whale songs drowned out by navy sonars
1st February, 2003
Navy vs the Whales. They have the most mysterious and beautiful songs in the natural world. But now they are dying, drowned out by the deafening roar of Western navies’ new sonar devices.
The US, NATO and British navies are currently testing a submarine detection system that employs new Low Frequency Active Sonar (LFAS). The aim is to deploy it across 80 per cent of the world’s oceans by 2006.
• Humans can tolerate sounds in the air up to 120 decibels, but LFAS reaches 240 decibels.
• At 300 miles from the source the active sonar can still reach 140 decibels.
• Whales are affected by sounds of 110 decibels.
• At 180 decibels a whale’s eardrums can explode.
Effects on whales
For whales and other marine mammals that rely on sound for communication and navigation, active sonar means serious disruption, deafness and ultimately death.
Human divers accidentally exposed to LFAS have reported various physiological traumas including lung resonance. This can lead to haemorrhaging, soft tissue damage and death in both humans and marine mammals. Studies subjecting navy divers to LFAS have produced alarming results. After only 12 minutes one of the divers experienced dizziness and drowsiness and had to be hospitalised. He continued to...
To view the rest of this article - you must be a paying subscriber and Login
Using this website means you agree to us using simple cookies.