Chris Dunagan of the Kitsap Sun uncovers the news that the Navy has apparently decided to not do any more sonar training use in Puget Sound. Good news for our marine wildlife. —-read the whole story and comment if you wish at…http://pugetsoundblogs.com/waterways/2009/07/30/some-sonar-questions-are-answered-others-remain/
The Navy has decided not to conduct training exercises involving sonar within Puget Sound. That information was revealed in a proposed incidental take permit for the Northwest Training Range Complex, now subject to public review under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. See my story in today’s Kitsap Sun.
While this decision no doubt will be a good thing for area marine mammal populations, I’m still a bit confused about the extent to which sonar may be used in non-training conditions.
Use of sonar in the testing of equipment and new technologies will come under a separate take permit for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, based at Keyport.
But, according to a statement I received from the Navy, that still leaves open the use of sonar for “safety and navigation,” “testing,” and “maintenance.”
As I understand the process, if the Navy were to harm marine mammals in one of these procedures without obtaining a take permit in advance, the Navy would be in violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
more at the link above…