Anti-Rimpac Activists–against sonar testing done by the navy offshore –have new ammunition, as a healthy 16 ft. pilot whale washed ashore yesterday on Kauai.
The jury is still out on what caused the whale to beach:
According to Kauai Marine Biologist Terry Lilley, “There were were two small punctures in the male’s body, each about an inch and a half across, but it did not seem to have any disease or markings indicating any trauma. Having a superhealthy whale wash up like this is highly unique.”
He went on to say, “The sonar testing affects the inner ear of the whale. It loses its ability to navigate. Whales navigate by sonar.”
According to the news report on KGMB Hawaii News Now, a team of veterinarains and support staff will perform a necropsy on the whale. A Hawaiian practitioner will perform the appropriate cultural protocols. Specimens from the animal will be sent to laboratories on the mainland but there will not be results for several days.
What is Rimpac? The website cpf.navy.nil states: “Held every two years by Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLT), RIMPAC 2014 is a multinational maritime exercise that takes place in and around the Hawaiian Islands.
This year’s RIMPAC exercise, the 24th in the series that began in 1971, is scheduled from June 26 to August 1, with an opening reception scheduled for June 26 and closing reception August 1. Twenty-two nations, 49 surface ships, 6 submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel will participate. Units from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the People’s Republic of China, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Tonga, the United Kingdom and the United States will participate.
RIMPAC is a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s oceans.”
Where do you stand on this long-running contoversy? Marine biologist Terry Lilley called them “war games” and believes they are harmful to the whales. The Navy says the maneuvers are neccessary.
What do you think?
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