Saturday, November 19, 2016

A Whale Of A Week

Oil and gas exploration is harming tens of thousands of marine mammals in the Gulf of Mexico.

Unnecessary seismic testing must be stopped!
Sperm whales will experience as many as 760,000 harassing exposures to airgun blasting over the next decade, according to the draft environmental impact statement. (Tim Cole/National Marine Fisheries Service)
As the result of a settlement secured by Earthjustice and our clients and partners in the Gulf, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has released an environmental impact statement showing that, left unchecked, seismic surveys will injure or harass marine mammals up to 31.9 million times in the next decade. 

The surveys will render over 4.3 million exposures loud enough to cause permanent hearing loss or other injuries, including up to 588 injuries to the Gulf’s Bryde’s whales—or about 17 times for each of the 33 members of this imperiled population.
Seismic surveys flood the ocean with intense sound to locate oil and gas deposits below the sea floor. Seismic airgun arrays are towed across vast swaths of ocean and fire every 12-16 seconds, up to 24 hours a day for weeks to months on end. Each of these blasts can exceed 235 decibels—louder than a rocket launch and many hundreds of times louder than the noise level that would cause pain in the human ear. This sound can travel thousands of miles underwater—harassing and disrupting animal behavior far from the source. For marine mammals—whales and dolphins specifically—that depend on their sense of sound for most life functions, this industrial noise is detrimental to their ability to find prey, navigate, and communicate with one another.
As much as we like to think that the practice of hunting whales for oil has stopped, injuring whales in pursuit of deep-sea oil deposits makes you question whether that’s really true. Deafening a whale is the equivalent of killing that whale—it just happens more slowly.
It’s also important to place these seismic surveys in the broader context of our fight to protect oceans from drilling and the planet from the worst effects of climate change.
Join Us - Fight to Save the OrcasDefenders of Wildlife is a non-profit dedicated to protecting and preserving imperiled wildlife and their habitats since 1947.
Last week two mores orcas – a mother and her calf – died tragically in the Puget Sound. There are now only 80 of these highly intelligent creatures left alive in the region. If you will join us in taking steps to protect their environment and food supply, we can save them!

Orca Whales Won’t Be Celebrating at SeaWorld
In Defense of Animals
SeaWorld refuses to release twenty four orca whales held captive in marine parks across three states to seaside pens. Instead, SeaWorld has decided to remodel the areas surrounding and above the confinement tanks in San Diego's park as if this superficial makeover would in any way make a difference to these whales or an informed public. Relenting under intense public pressure, SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. promised to end breeding captive orca whales, but still insists on keeping them captive for the rest of their lives. Pictured: Artist's rendering of Orca Encounter planned to open in the summer of 2017. READ MORE