Sonar harmful to whales?

Environmental activists sue over Navy sonar tests

The National Marine Fisheries Service was sued by environmental groups on Jan. 26 for approving the Navy’s bid to test underwater sonar along the West Coast to the potential detriment of marine mammals.

The coastal waters are home to about 650,000 whales, dolphins, porpoises and seals acutely sensitive to low-frequency noises like the sonar used on Navy vessels, according to Reuters. The lawsuit, filed by a coalition of environmental activists led by Earthjustice, noted that several studies have found sonar can cause damage to the eardrums of dolphins and whales and there is speculation sonar can kill marine mammals outright. Earthjustice said its goal isn’t to stop testing completely but to scale it back in critical areas.