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the means to ensure our national security “The Navyandhasprotect marine mammals at the same time. ”

Endangered blue whale.

California Current over the past two decades. Autopsies on beached beaked whales, an excep­ ich permeate the tionally deep-diving species, their location. have found evidence of decom­pression sickness, a fatal condition that scientists believe may occur when the whales become panicked by extreme noise and ascend too quickly. Endangered blue whales are also among the numerous marine mammal species threatened by the Navy’s activities. At 100 feet long and almost 200 tons, these gentle giants are believed to be the largest animals ever to have existed on earth. Yet even as these magnificent creatures cling to survival, recent evidence suggests that blue whales will stop feeding in order to flee military noise. A number of scientists — including the Navy’s own — have concluded that such exposure “may pose significant risks to the recovery rates of endan­gered blue whale populations.” “It’s time to shed light on the carnage about to unfold beneath our darkened seas,” says actor and ocean advocate Pierce Brosnan, who is working with NRDC to raise public awareness

about the Navy’s assault on whales. “The Navy’s perpetual excuses of ‘We’re doing enough’ and ‘We couldn’t possibly do more’ just won’t fly anymore. The Navy has the means to ensure our national security and protect marine mammals at the same time.” A longtime champion of our oceans, Brosnan has partnered with NRDC on numerous campaigns to protect marine wildlife. Recently he appeared in an online video that has already

Fourteen rare beaked whales died after a naval sonar exercise in the Canary Islands.

helped generate tens of thousands of messages to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, calling on him to direct the Navy to abandon its fight against NRDC’s latest lawsuit and instead adopt commonsense protections for whales. “There’s just no military justification for the Navy’s unrestrained assault on whales,” says Brosnan. “But

unless we band together and hold the Navy accountable, these intelligent and sentient animals will continue to suffer and die for no good reason.” NRDC’s latest suit targets Navy testing and training operations off the coasts of Southern California and Hawaii, which include some of the most biologically rich and diverse waters in the United States, home to at least 39 species of marine mammals. Although the Navy appears to have dug in its heels for this fight — for the moment, at least — this is by no means the first time we’ve taken on the Navy in court. We won sweeping, lifesaving restrictions on the Navy’s use of deadly low-frequency active sonar several years ago. And more recently, a federal judge sided with NRDC and ordered the Fisheries Service to reassess Navy operations that threaten whales in the Pacific Northwest. The enormous scope of the Navy’s plans has required NRDC to wage our campaign on several fronts, yet one unequiv­ocal principle, articulated by Brosnan, guides each battle: “There’s just no excuse for more whales to suffer and die during routine training.” Take action at: 5

Nature's Voice Spring 2014  

All of the environmental projects and victories described in Nature’s Voice are made possible through the generous support of Members like y...

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