Surtas / LFAS

Whale Stranding in N.C. Followed Navy Sonar Use

Military Says Connection to Death of 37 Animals Is 'Unlikely'

By Marc Kaufman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 28, 2005; Page A03

At least 37 whales beached themselves and died along the North Carolina
shore earlier this month soon after Navy vessels on a deep-water training
mission off the coast used powerful sonar as part of the exercise.

Although the Navy says any connection between the strandings and its active
sonar is "unlikely" -- because the underwater detection system was used
more than 200 miles from where the whales beached themselves -- it is
cooperating with other federal agencies probing a possible link. Government
fisheries officials, as well as activists for whales, say the fact that
three species of whales died in the incident suggests that sonar may have
been the cause.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists "are looking at
all the possible causes of this stranding, which was a significant one,"
spokeswoman Connie Barclay said. Although the number of whales that came
ashore is far from a record for mass strandings, Barclay said that "it's
very curious to have three different kinds of whales strand, and a number
of possible causes are being examined. Sonar is certainly one of them."

The possible connection between naval sonar and the deaths of whales and
other marine mammals has become an increasingly controversial issue since
the Navy acknowledged that the loud blasts of its sonar helped cause a mass
stranding of whales in the Bahamas in 2000. Since then, critics have
accused the Navy of involvement in numerous mass strandings in U.S. and
international waters, and federal environmental officials have concluded in
some instances that the loud pulses from active sonar cannot be ruled out
as a cause.

The North Carolina strandings could be especially problematic for the Navy
because it hopes to establish a 500-square-nautical-mile underwater sonar
testing range off that coast. The Navy says a draft environmental impact
statement is near completion, and officials have said the range is a high
priority.

Most of the animals that died in the latest incident were pilot whales,
which stranded around the Oregon Inlet of the Outer Banks on Jan. 15. One
newborn minke whale also beached at Corolla that day, and two dwarf sperm
whales came ashore at Buxton on Jan. 16, locations about 60 miles north and
south of the inlet. Six of the pilot whales were pregnant when they died,
Barclay said.

None of the three whale species is considered endangered, though NOAA
officials say their populations are relatively small and little understood
in the Atlantic. But other endangered marine animals -- including right and
humpback whales and numerous species of sea turtles -- regularly migrate
through the waters off North Carolina.

Navy officials said that the USS Kearsarge Expeditionary Strike Group,
based in Norfolk, was conducting an anti-submarine exercise about 240
nautical miles from the Oregon Inlet on Jan. 14 and 15.

In e-mailed answers to questions, the Navy said a review of activities
after following the strandings concluded that "no Navy ships were using
active sonar within 50 nautical miles radius" of the inlet on Jan. 15 or
the four days preceding -- although one ship not associated with the strike
group did use sonar for seven minutes about 90 nautical miles
south-southeast of Oregon Inlet. The strike group was on its way to a
deployment after the training exercise, the Navy said.

Sonar acts as the underwater eyes and ears of the Navy, and intermittent
bursts are often used in transit to detect potential enemies and other
dangers. In addition, Navy officials increasingly believe that inexpensive
quiet submarines from hostile nations pose a potential threat and want to
upgrade sonar tracking systems to protect against intrusions into U.S.
coastal waters. The Navy now uses mid-frequency sonar for its tracking but
wants to deploy a new generation of low-frequency sonar that travels much
farther underwater and is more powerful.

The Navy has sometimes been slow to acknowledge that its ships were in an
area where strandings occurred and has accepted responsibility only in the
Bahamas event. Environmental activists said that track record makes them
skeptical of the Navy's statements about the North Carolina strandings.

"The circumstances are troubling," said Michael Jasny, a lawyer for the
Natural Resources Defense Council, which has sued the Navy on other
sonar-related issues. "After so many whale deaths caused by sonar, these
latest strandings are a red flag. . . . Unfortunately, the Navy has a long
history of denial."

The Outer Banks area is close to the Norfolk base and on the general course
to where the exercises were held.

Most of the stranded whales were dead when they were found, and NOAA
scientists are conducting necropsies of many of the animals to try to
determine a cause of death. Although pilot whales travel in herds and are
prone to strandings, the other two whale species are not, officials said.

Pilot and dwarf sperm whales are both deep-diving animals that feed off the
ocean floor and slopes of the continental shelf. The other whale strandings
linked to sonar use have also involved deep-diving species, such as the
beaked whale. Researchers have theorized that the loud sounds of sonar can
damage the whales' sensitive hearing system and cause them to surface too
quickly from fright. After another stranding off the Canary Islands in
2002, researchers found unusual gas bubbles in some whale organs -- leading
them to conclude that the animals suffered from a form of decompression
sickness similar to the bends.

The Navy's plan for an East Coast underwater sonar testing range was first
announced in 1996. Since then, the plan has been discussed internally and
work on an environmental impact statement has proceeded, with some input
from NOAA.

A Navy spokesman said last year that a final decision had not been made on
where to locate the test site. But in April, the Atlantic Division of the
Naval Facilities Engineering Command said in a statement: "The Navy's
preferred site for the range is in the Cherry Point Operating Area located
in Onslow Bay, southeast of New River, North Carolina, and approximately
105 km (57 nautical miles) from the North Carolina shoreline."

© 2005 The Washington Post Company
for map & photos go to:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A42788-2005Jan27.html?sub=new 



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"I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord,
make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it."
--Voltaire

-------------------------------------------------------

 

This is our WILD_SEAS mailing of   Fri, 23 Mar 2001 14:41:44 +0300:

Please distribute as wide as possible !


- pls see also the texts in German, French, Spanish and Portugese in this mail (below)

Be informed about the  Stop LFAS Worldwide Network  and become proactive yourself !

The Stop LFAS Worldwide Network is an unincorporated association of individuals and affiliated organizations who have dedicated their time and energies to preventing deployment of Low Frequency Active Sonar (LFAS) by any nation, including the United States.

Network associates live in many different nations, with most associates living in the United States.  The Stop LFAS Worldwide E-mail list was started during Phase III testing of LFAS off the coast of Hawaii in 1998.

The purpose of the Stop LFAS Worldwide Network is to create public awareness internationally of the threat to the marine environment posed by LFAS and to organize citizens internationally to save our oceans and our planet from that threat, which also damages people, who are diving.

The Network takes the position that  LFAS is especially harmful to the deep diving marine mammals in the SOFAR layer and that acoustic pollution wastes natural and monetary resources.

The Network opposes an escalation of active acoustic devices and acoustic weapons technology in our oceans as being harmful to marine life and to human coastal communities.

The Network provides regular updates on developments related to LFAS,  including research findings, strandings, cover ups, and military disinformation. These updates are sent to associates, non-associatedsubscribers to the Network newsletter, governments of the world, the UN and the media.

The Network maintains web site locations accessible to the general public containing information related to LFAS, such as


http://manyrooms.com and  http://angelfire.com/ca/fishattorney/lfaslinks.html.

These sites provide links to hundreds of other related sites and links to archived
radio interviews, such as those found at

 http://angelfire.com/ca/fishattorney/lfaslinks.html.

The Network coordinates with cetacean protection groups and environmental organizations as an information resource.  The coordinators and/or associates have participated in eight separate international radio broadcasts discussing LFAS, all of which were simultaneously transmitted across the Internet and reached an international audience.

Associates include scientists, authors, journalists, musicians and wildlife photographers.  There are health therapists who use natural settings in their healing strategies and naturalists who draw spiritual benefit from undisturbed natural surroundings.

Associates also include groups which focus on animal rights, & aquarium management as well as spiritual groups that have integrated prayers for quiet oceans into their meditations.

Associates participated in Navy workshops discussing LFAS, conducted and participated in the litigation filed to challenge the US Navy's Phase III testing program off the Island of Hawai`i, appeared at public hearings conducted by the Navy as part of the EIS process, and filed comments on the draft EIS issued for deployment of SURTASS LFA.

Associates participated with marine mammal experts from other organizations in a California Coastal Commission workshop on LFAS.

And here is a description of LFA Sonar in several languages.

Low Frequency Active Sonar Defined

Here is a definition of  Low Frequency Active Sonar.
This definition is presented in various languages so
that people around the world can begin to understand
more about this invasive technology which threatens
the acoustic habitat of our oceans.
 

LFAS is defined in the following languages:

English
German
French
Spanish
Portugese

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English

Low frequency active sonar is a device using multiple, high intensity sound sources to broadcast a low frequency signal into the ocean.  That signal bounces off objects in the water and returns to a listening device.  The listening device analyzes the signal to
determine the nature of the object and the location of the object.  Many nations and NATO are developing such devices to locate submarines.

High intensity, low frequency sound can cause harm to marine life.  Cetaceans are particularly vulnerable because they rely upon sound for many of their daily activities.   High intensity, low frequency sound can make a whale deaf; can cause a whale's lung tissue to shear; can disrupt mating, feeding, and singing behaviors; and may cause long term harm to the recovery of  endangered and threatened species.

The use of low frequency active sonar devices is becoming wide spread at  the same time the evidence of serious harm to marine life is emerging.  In 1996, Curvier's Beaked Whales stranded along the Grecian coast at the same time a NATO fleet broadcast using
low frequency active sonar.  Dr. Alexandros Frantzis analyzed the strandings and concluded that the probability that sonar caused the strandings was 99.9%. A later NATO study concluded that the strandings could not have been caused by a natural source.

In March 2000, the U.S. Navy conducted a test of active sonar off the Bahamas at the same time as a naval fleet passed by broadcasting sonar from six different ships. Seventeen cetaceans stranded and nine died.  Blood in the eyes, blood in the brains, and
damage to lung tissue appeared in the necropsies of the cetaceans.  The cause of this disaster is still under investigation.

These are only some of the examples strongly suggesting that high intensity sonars are a threat to marine life.  The time has come to support a moratorium on any further use of high intensity, low frequency sonar.  The military can use sophisticated passive technology to find submarines and avoid threatening the long term health of marine life and the marine environment.

German

Ein aktives Niedrigfrequenz-Sonar nutzt verschiedene Schallquellen hoher Intensität, um ein niedrigfrequentes Signal in den Ozean zu senden. Dieses Signal wird von Objekten im Wasser  reflektiert und die Reflektionen werden von einem Empfangsteil aufgenommen.   Das Empfangsteil analysiert das Signal, um die Art und den Ort des Objektes festzustellen. Viele Nationen und die NATO entwickeln solche Geräte zur Lokalisierung von Unterseebooten.

Niedrigfrequente Geräusche hoher Intensität können das Meeresleben schädigen. Cetaceen (Wale) sind besonders anfällig, da sie für viele ihrer täglichen Aktivititäten auf
Geräusche und Geräusch-Ortung angweisen sind. Niedrigfrequente Geräusche hoher Intensität können Wale taub machen, das Lungengewebe eines Wales zerschneiden, Paarungs-, Ernährungs- und Gesangseigenschaften der Wale unterbrechen und können
die Erhaltung gefährderter und seltener Arten langfristig schädigen.

Aktive Niedrigfrequenz-Sonare werden weitverbreitet zunehmend genutzt, während sich die Belege für ernsthafte Schäden am Meeresleben häufen. 1996 strandeten zwölf delphinähnliche Zahnwale aus der Familie der Ziphiidae  ("Curvier's Beaked Whales")
entlang der griechischen Küste, während eine NATO Flotte Signale von aktiven Niedrigfrequenz-Sonaren sendete. Dr.  Alexandros Frantzis analysierte die Strandungen und kam zu dem Ergebnis, dass die Wahrscheinlichkeit dafür, dass die Sonare die
Ursache für die Strandungen waren, bei 99.9 % liegt. Eine spätere NATO Studie stellte fest, dass die Strandungen nicht durch eine natürliche Ursache hervorgerufen sein konnten.

Im März 2000 führte die U.S. Marine eine Versuchsreihe zu aktiven Sonaren bei den Bahamas durch. Gleichzeitig sendete eine Marine Flotte in der Nähe Sonar Signale
von sechs verschiedenen Schiffen aus. Siebzehn Cetaceen  strandeten und neun starben. Die Kadaver der Wale wiesen Blut in den  Augen, Blut im Gehirn und Schäden am Lungengewebe auf. Die Ursache dieser Katastrophe wird noch immer untersucht.

Dieses sind nur einige Beispiele, welche sehr deutlich anregen, dass Sonare hoher Intensität eine Bedrohung für das Meeresleben darstellen. Es ist  Zeit, ein Moratorium über jeglichen weiteren Nutzen von Niedrigfrequenz-Sonaren hoher Intensität zu unterstützen. Das Militär kann ausgereifte passive Technologien verwenden und vermeiden, dass das dauerhafte Wohlergehen von Meeresleben und der Meeresumgebung bedroht wird.

French

Le sonar actif à basse fréquence est un dispositif utilisant plusieurs sources de son de haute intensité pour émettre un signal basse fréquence dans l'océan. Ce signal rebondit sur les objets se trouvant dans l'eau et retourne à un dispositif d'écoute. Ce dispositif d'écoute analyse le signal pour déterminer la nature et la position de l'objet. L'OTAN ainsi que plusieurs pays développent présentement de tels dispositifs pour localiser les sous-marins.

Un son de haute intensité peut causer des torts à la vie marine. Les cétacés sont
particulièrement vulnérables parce qu'ils dépendent du son dans plusieurs de leurs
activités quotidiennes. Un son de haute intensité peut rendre une baleine sourde,
endommager gravement ses tissus pulmonaires, déranger ou même interrompre l'accouplement, l'alimention et le chant des baleines. À long terme, il peut aussi
causer des torts au rétablissement des espèces menacées et en voie d'extinction.

À mesure que l'utilisation des dispositifs à sonar basse fréquence devient de plus
en plus courante, émergent les évidences sur les torts causés à la vie marine par
ce dispositif. En 1996, des baleines à bec de curvier s'échouent sur la côte Grec
alors qu'au même moment, une flotte de l'OTAN se trouvant dans le secteur émet en utilisant le sonar actif à basse fréquence. Le Dr. Alexandros Frantziz analysa l'échouement et conclu que les probabilités qu'il aie été causé par l'utilisation du sonar était de 99.9%. Une étude de l'OTAN révélera plus tard que cet incident ne pouvait être relié à aucune cause naturelle.

En Mars 2000, l'U.S. Navy conduit un test de sonar actif au Bahamas en même temps qu'une flotte navale croisant au large utilise le sonar actif depuis six navires différents. Dix-sept cétacés s'échouent et neuf meurent. Du sang dans les yeux et dans le cerveau et des lésions aux tissus pulmonaires sont observés sur les cadavres des cétacés. Une enquête à toujours lieu afin de déterminer les causes de ce désastre.

Cela ne représente que quelques exemples démontrant clairement que les sonars à haute intensité sont un danger pour la vie marine. Le temps est venu d'instaurer
un moratoire sur l'utilisation des sonars basse fréquence à haute intensité. Les militaires peuvent utiliser des dispositifs passifs tout aussi sophistiqués pour trouver les sous-marins tout en évitant de mettre en péril à long terme l'environnement marin et la vie marine.

Currently, you will find a good description of LFA Sonar with comments from Jean-Michel Cousteau at this URL: http://www.oceanfutures.com/jmc/lfa2.html 

Spanish

El sonar activo de baja frecuencia es un dispositivo que utiliza múltiples fuentes de sonido de alta intensidad para emitir una señal de baja frecuencia en el océano. Esta señal rebota en los objetos que se hallan en el agua y vuelve a un dispositivo de escucha. Este dispositivo de escucha analiza la señal a fin de determinar la naturaleza y la posición del objeto. Muchas naciones y la OTAN están desarrollando estos dispositivos para localizar submarinos.

Un sonido de alta intensidad y baja frecuencia puede causar daños a la vida marina. Los cetáceos son especialmente vulnerables pues dependen del sonido para muchas de sus actividades diarias. El sonido de alta intensidad y baja frecuencia puede dejar sorda a una ballena, puede provocar desgarros en su tejido pulmonar, puede interrumpir el apareamiento, la alimentación y el canto y puede causar daños a largo plazo en la recuperación de especies en peligro y en vías de extinción.

El uso de dispositivos de sonar activo de baja frecuencia se está generalizando al mismo tiempo que emerge la evidencia de graves daños a la vida marina. En 1996, ballenas zifio de Cuvier quedaron varadas a lo largo de la costa de Grecia al mismo tiempo que la flota de la OTAN emitía utilizando sonar activo de baja frecuencia. El Dr. Alexandros Frantzis
analizó el suceso y concluyó que la probabilidad de que el sonar hubiese sido la causa era del 99,9%. Un estudio posterior de la OTAN concluyó que los varamientos no pudieron haber sido provocados por una causa natural.

En marzo del 2000, la marina de los Estados Unidos condujo un test de sonar activo en las Bahamas al mismo tiempo que una flota naval pasaba emitiendo sonar desde seis barcos diferentes. Diecisiete cetáceos vararon y nueve murieron. Sangre en los ojos,
sangre en el cerebro y daños en el tejido pulmonar aparecieron en las necropsias de los cetáceos.
La causa de este desastre está todavía siendo investigada.

Estos son sólo algunos de los ejemplos que sugieren claramente que los sonars de alta intensidad son una amenaza para la vida marina. Ha llegado el momento de apoyar una moratoria contra la utilización futura de sonar de alta intensidad y baja frecuencia. Los
militares pueden utilizar tecnología pasiva sofisticada para localizar submarinos y evitar la amenaza a la salud a largo plazo de la vida y el medio ambiente marinos.
 

Portugese

Sonar Ativo de Baixa Frequência é um dispositivo que utiliza múltiplas fontes sonoras de grande intensidade para distribuir um sinal de baixa frequência no oceano. Este sinal rebate em objetos na água e retorna para um dispositivo de escuta. O dispositivo de escuta analisa o sinal para determinar a natureza e a localização do objeto. Muitas nações e a OTAN estão desenvolvendo estes dispositivos para localizar submarinos.

Os som de baixa frequência e grande intensidade podem causar danos à vida marinha. Os cetáceos são particularmente vulneráveis por confiarem no som para muitas de suas atividades diárias. Um sinal de baixa frequência e grande intensidade por tornar uma baleia surda, pode rasgar o tecido do pulmão de uma baleia, pode interroper o acasalamento, a alimentação e o comportamento de canto; e pode causar danos de longo termo na recuperação de espécies em perigo e ameçadas de extinção.ortuguês:

O uso de dispositivos ativos do sonar da freqüência baixa está se tornando-se largamente utilizado ao mesmo tempo  que a evidência do dano sério à vida marinha está emergindo. Em 1996, baleias de Curvier Beaked encalharam ao longo da costa de Grecian ao mesmo tempo de uma transmissão da frota da OTAN usando o sonar ativo da freqüência baixa. O Dr. Alexandros Frantzis analisou os encalhamentos e concliu que a probabilidade de que o sonar tenha causado os encalhamentos era de 99,9%. Um estudo mais posterior da OTAN concliu que os encalhamentos não poderiam ter sido causados por uma causa natural.

Em março de 2000, a marinha dos Estados Unidos conduziu um teste do sonar ativo a partir das Bahamas ao mesmo tempo que uma frota naval passou transmitindo o sonar de seis navios diferentes. Dezessete cetáceos encalharam e nove morreram. Sangue nos olhos, sangue nos cérebros, e os danos ao tecido do pulmão apareceram nas necrópsias dos cetáceos. A causa deste desastre está ainda sob a investigação.

Estes são somente alguns dos exemplos que sugerem fortemente que os sonares de intensidade elevada são uma ameaça à vida marinha.. É tempo de dar suporte a uma moratória a qualquer uso adicional dos sonar de intensidade elevada e baixa frequência . As forças armadas podem usar a tecnologia passiva sofisticada para encontrar submarinos e evitar a ameaça a longo prazo à  saúde da vida marinha e do ambiente marinho.


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Here's a handy reference guide courtesy of  Ocean Futures :

Questions and answers: LFA and Marine Mammals

Overview


What is LFA?
How powerful is the sound level generated by LFA?
What are some of the other forms of sonar technology used by the Navy?
What are the decibel levels produced by natural noise sources and by whales?
Are there examples of artificially generated acoustic levels from military tests affecting marine mammals?
What is the decibel level known to affect humans?
What is the decibel level and range the Navy uses inLFA tests?
What were the environmental conditions, decibel level and range during exercises performed by the Navy on March 15, 2000?
 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Overview


According to the U.S. Navy final environmental impact statement (January 2001), LFA sonar technology is employed in the ocean including "areas necessary to prevent 180 dB sound pressure level (SPL) or greater within 22 kilometers (or 12 nautical miles) of land,
in offshore biologically important areas during biologically important seasons and in areas necessary to prevent greater than 145 dB at known recreational and commercial dive sites." The sonar operational areas are inhabited by marine animals, including birds, fish, sea turtles and marine mammals." This complex technology incorporates a variety of
underwater testing parameters such as depth, contour of the ocean bottom, water temperature sonar pulses or "pings", the number of pings and time duration, single sonar arrays, multiple arrays and towed versus stationary sonar devices.

What is LFA?
LFA, or low frequency active sonar, involves transmitting high-volume low frequency sound pulses over a long range underwater. According to the Navy, it would function much like a floodlight, using sound waves to scan the ocean for quiet enemy submarines at enormous geographic distance.

The Natural Resources Defense Council reports that LFA is a sound system so powerful that a single sound source transmitter generates sound at levels of 215 decibels. An entire array can produce sound at 230 dB, flooding hundreds of square miles of ocean with noise. When comparing these figures with other data, far lower levels of military sonar causes biological disturbances in whales - as low as just 120 dB.

How powerful is the sound level generated by LFA?
LFA is measured in decibels. The decibel scale expresses sound in increasing orders of magnitude, making 170 dB ten times the sound intensity of 160 dB (thus 180 dB is 100 times the intensity of 160dB.) In this way, it can use very small numbers to compare
sounds of radically different intensities, from a quiet breeze to a nuclear explosion.

What are some of the other forms of sonar technology used by the Navy?

· Tactical sonar - 235 decibels, at mid-range frequencies of 3,500 to 7,500 hertz.
· Low-frequency active sonar (LFAs) - 215 - 230 decibels
· Acoustic thermometry of ocean climate (ATOC) - noise to approx 195 decibels
· Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System (SURTASS) - 235 decibels (4)

What are the decibel levels produced by natural noise sources and by whales?

Noise Source Noise Source Levels Lightening Strike on Water Surface 260 dB (max)
Seafloor Volcanic Eruption 255+ dB (max)

Fin Whale 160-186 dB
Humpback Whale 175-190 dB
Bowhead Whale 158-189 dB
Blue Whale 188 dB (max)
Southern Right Whale 172-187 dB
Gray Whale 185 dB (max)
measured at range zero.

Source: SURTASS LFA Environmental Impact Statement

Are there examples of artificially generated acoustic levels from military tests affecting marine mammals? (2): Bowhead whales show avoidance at 120 dB as do gray whales in the migratory path of sound at this level Humpback whales exhibit cessation in "singing" above 155 dB Sperm and pilot whales stop singing when exposed to 220 dB

What is the decibel level known to affect humans?
According to the Navy's own study, scientists briefly exposed a 32-year-old Navy diver to LFA sonar at a level of 160 decibels -- a fraction of the intensity at which the LFA system is designed to operate. After 12 minutes, the diver experienced severe symptoms, including dizziness and drowsiness. After being hospitalized, he relapsed, suffering memory dysfunction and seizure. Two years later he was being treated with anti- depressant and anti-seizure medications.

What is the decibel level and range the Navy uses in LFA tests?
At the test source, 215dB are produced from a single array (up to 235 for multiple arrays) (2.1.1 and response to Comment 2-1.1 (Page 10-47) of the Navy FEIS). The sound field designed as the LFA mitigation zone is greater than or equal to 180dB within 22 km
(12nm) of any coastline and in the offshore biologically important areas that exist outside the 22km zone during the biologically important season for that area. (2.3.2.1 Navy FEIS.)

What were the environmental conditions, decibel level and range during exercises performed by the Navy on March 15, 2000?

According to data posted on MARMAM, the US Navy, in a detailed acoustic analysis, has found certain environmental conditions existed when Navy ships transiting through the Bahamas last March used active sonar systems at the same time over a dozen
whales beached themselves on islands nearby. The use of Navy sonar systems under these environmental conditions may have affected whales in the area, the
National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service says in a Nov. 15 press release.

The findings could have implications for the Navy's use of active sonar, which it frequently employs in training operations worldwide.

The US Navy and the US fisheries service released information from a detailed US Navy analysis of a computer model that confirmed the presence of a "surface duct" in the New Providence Channel at the time the whales stranded. Surface ducts affect how sound travels. The analysis examined the acoustic field that was created by several ships' sonar systems last March and included a thorough look at the environmental conditions that affect sound travel, according to the fisheries service. Five ships and one submarine using sonar were transiting through the channel at the time. The ships were using sonar at a
power output of 235 decibels, at mid-range frequencies of 3,500 to 7,500 hertz.
 

You can take action on the LFA issue by:

Join us in being a "voice for the ocean!"


Click
http://www.oceanfutures.com to become an Ocean Futures member now - it's easy and it's free. Send your ACTION E-LETTER now from that site..

Let your voice be heard now! Write to your Navy and your local governmental representatives. Ask them to end the Navy's Active Sonar program.

Unfortunately, the US agency in charge for the LFAS hearing will NOT accept comments submitted  by email or the Internet. 

Comments should be mailed to:


Donna Wieting, Chief;
Marine Mammal Conservation Division;
Office of Protected Resources;
National Marine Fisheries Service;
1315 East-West
Highway; Silver
Spring, MD  20910-3226.

Alternatively, you can send your comments to Ms.
Wieting by fax: +1-301-713-0376.

And join the:
Stop LFAS Worldwide Interactive Newsletter:

This newletter is a very valuable source, produced by a grass-roots group, which began about two and a half years ago in protest over the introduction of SURTASS LFAS sound pressure waves into the ocean waters off Hawaii. Stop LFAS Worldwide is an organi- sation to bring public awareness internationally to save our oceans and our planet from this acoustic mayhem.

It is an Internet Communication Network for those who are trying to learn more about the acoustic testing and who are concerned with the damage it might cause to marine life, swimmers and divers.

THE GOAL IS TO STOP LFAS AND OTHER HARMFUL WAVE-SOURCES WORLDWIDE !

More and  more groups are standing shoulder to shoulder on this matter of acoustic harm, and it is very important to bring the topic to the attention of all people!

Taxpayers in NATO countries: YOUR MONEY IS USED TO CREATE THESE DEVELISH TOOLS ! CITIZENS OF THE WORLD: YOUR GOVERNMENTS ARE NOT PROTECTING YOU ! SAVE OUR SOULS, our oceans and our planet from this acoustic mayhem !

Low Frequency Active Sonar is in the process of being deployed worldwide by the US Navy and NATO to supposedly detect enemy submarines.  Recently, the use of high intensity sonars has been associated with massive strandings of cetacean in the Bahamas.  Several species stranded and each of those who died were discovered through necropsies to have experienced trauma which damaged their ears and eyes where membranes had ruptured and there was bleeding.  This tragic incident coincided with acoustic testing in March of 2000.

In direct contrast to these unnerving events, the Stop LFAS Worldwide Network was involved in litigation in Federal Court. The group filed the paperwork on February 29th along with 10 other plaintiffs all represented by Attorney, Lanny Sinkin.  In the midst of the litigation efforts while trying to complile further information about these latest strandings, the Stop LFAS Worldwide Network, founded by Benedikt and Cheryl,  was recognized by the Earth Society Foundation & received an Earth Day Award, which is both a global honor and responsibility.

While the US Navy has not disclosed actual sound levels, we know through published articles that NATO has been using sound applications called Time Reversed Acoustics which use a playback method to make the underwater sound so focused and so powerful that it can kill and maim whales, dolphins and sea life.  It would be useless to compare this sound to another man-made non-explosive noise in another medium because the attenuation of of this disruptive force continues many hundreds of miles.  And now with Time Reversed Mirroring techniques being employed, the combined background chaos serves as a greater method of focusing the noise at a distance.  This is "sound" but it is most useful to think of it as "power."

It has been stated by the US Navy that they wish to use Low Frequency Active Sonar in 80% of the world's oceans.  So this involves just about all of us from everywhere!

Originally, the Stop LFAS Worldwide E-mail list was started during Phase III testing of LFAS off the coast of Hawaii in 1998.  Since then,  the US Navy developed a Draft Environmental Impact Report and simultaneously apply to the National Marine Fisheries Service for a permit authorizing the "taking" and harassment of endangered species incidental to the operation of Low Frequency Active Sonar.

But numerous omissions and misleading statements was discovered in the US Navy's highly controvercial documentation.

New developments in Time Reversed Acoustics allow the utilization of chaos scatter to be played back. This testing has been experimented with by NATO (successfully) but is not found in any of the US Navy's information regarding the DEIS.

REALIZE ! The whales that died in the Bahamas had eyes bleeding, and ears bleeding from trauma after being exposed to just ordinary sonar within a channel.

IMAGINE ! The LFAS technology would have impact each time it is used on hundreds of miles of ocean and will be deployed in 80% of the world's oceans, if YOU don't STOP it.

WAKE UP !


The main site address of the the group used to be: 
http://www.dreamweaving.com/lfas.html
and it remains an excellent site! The pages of Links have grown to hundreds of links and people tend to go there for the latest updates.

For many of the Internet Links begin on "Listen to LFAS Viewpoints."  To get there, go to: http://angelfire.com/ca/fishattorney/lfaslinks.html

Since that free site now has ads on it,  people could also go to the officious site of the group, which is: http://manyrooms.com

You will find that the information and resources are extensive.

Further information is available at http://listen.to/lfas (viewpoints). 

If you would like to learn more about the stoplfas group, please visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stoplfas and http://go.to/stoplfas

To subscribe to the weekly update send blank mail to: stoplfas-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

If this is too much information for you, please rest assured that the most important items also from this source will be broadcasted through the WILD_SEAS list.

REPORT ANY ACCIDENT, INCIDENT, STRANDING ETC. ALONG THE AFRICAN SHORELINES TO: CoastWatch Africa < coastwatch.kenya@gmx.net >
Monitor the movements of military ships (US Navy or other NATO countries, Russia, China)

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PROTECT THE AZORES FROM THE US NAVY AND LFAS !

PROTECT PEOPLE AND WHALES
LINK UP WITH THE FREE AZORES MOVEMENT!
If you want to link up and/or receive detailed info conc. the US Navy Low Frequency Active Sonar testing endangering people and marine life, please
send your e-mail address to: freeazores.wildnet@ecoterra.net .

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Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS)

The SOund SUrveillance System (SOSUS) provides deep-water long-range detection capability. SOSUS enjoyed tremendous success during the Cold War tracking submarines by their faint acoustic signals. SOSUS consists of high-gain long fixed arrays in the deep ocean basins

BEAM accesses form beams from multiple hydrophone arrays trained on the seafloor to provide signal gain obtained through beam forming. 

PHONE accesses individual hydrophones from arrays throughout the oceans provides omni-directional coverage.

With the advent of submarine warfare and it's impact on Allied forces and supply lines in WWII, the need for timely detection of undersea threats was made a high priority in Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW). As technology of the time progressed, it was recognized that shore-based monitoring stations were the answer to the problem since they could be made basically impervious to destruction, foul weather, and ambient self-generated noise. Since the early 1950s the Atlantic and Pacific oceans have been under the vigilence of SOSUS, with long acoustic sensors (hydrophones) installed across the ocean bottom at key locations. SOSUS has transitioned from single-beam paper displays to computer-based workstations for acoustic data analysis. By the end of FY 1998, the Shore Signal Information Processing Segment (SSIPS) and Surveillance Direction System (SDS) had been installed at all shore facilities, giving SOSUS a common equipment configuration and significantly reducing system infrastructure support costs. With the development of quieter submarines and counter-tactics to evade SOSUS, newer technologies have been implemented over the years to "keep up with the threat". Faster processors, higher capacity storage devices, and "cleaner code" has enabled the advancement of the art of locating undersea threats. Currently, the Integrated Undersea Surveillance System (IUSS) uses all of these advancements in the Fixed Surveillance System (FSS), Fixed Distributed System (FDS), and the Advanced Deployable System (ADS). 
SOSUS Arrays are being placed in a standby status in which the data is available but not continuously monitored. In the event of a resurgence in the global submarine threat the worldwide network of fixed undersea surveillance systems such as the Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS) a critical asset. Since the end of the Cold War, Reservists have been increasing their role in this mission area. In a recent report, entitled The Future Naval Reserve: Roles & Missions, Size & Shape, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs stated that "expanding Reserve Component participation in this area would help protect the capital investment and maintain the infrastructure in peacetime for a potential resurgent undersea threat." This report also notes that, in the absence of a global threat, Reservists are helping to meet today's more limited surveillance needs while training for the future. 

The deployment and maintenance of the undersea components of the IUSS shore systems is accomplished by technicians and engineers operating from IUSS Cable Support Ships. 

Under operational command of the U.S. Navy's Commander Undersea Surveillance (CUS) IUSS shore systems are staffed and operated by uniformed U.S. Navy personnel. System life cycle and engineering support is provided by carreer civil servants (NISE East Code 341) and contractor personnel located at the IUSS Operations Support Center (IOSC). 

With the end of the Cold War, SOSUS hydrophone arrays in both the Atlantic and Pacific face an uncertain future of shutdowns and closings. Consolidation of SOSUS by array retermination, remoting, or closure will be complete by FY97. Recent closures include Bermuda, Adak, and Keflavik. All other arrays will remain operational. SOSUS in the North Pacific is currently being analyzed for low-frequency vocalizations from marine mammals living in the open ocean. 

On 26 April 1999 Lockheed Martin Corp., Manassas, Va., was awarded a $107,031,978 firm-fixed-price contract for Phase II of a deep water, undersea surveillance system. This system is a long life, passive acoustic surveillance system that can be configured for multiple mission applications. It has the capability to provide long-term barrier and field acoustic surveillance, long-range acoustic surveillance coverage of open ocean areas, and acoustic surveillance in areas with high ambient noise. This contract contains one option, which, if exercised, would bring the total cumulative value of this contract to $153,234,288. Work will be performed in Manassas, Va., and is expected to be completed by September 2005. This contract was competitively procured through the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command electronic commerce web site and Commerce Business Daily with two offers solicited and two offers received. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the fiscal year. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity (N00039-99-C-2202). 

Sources and Methods

IUSS Fixed (Shore) Systems NOSC 
The nation's fixed undersea surveillance assets---A national resource for the future. Kirk Evans NRaD, ASA 127th Meeting M.I.T. 1994 June 6-10 
Acoustic Monitoring using U.S. Navy SOSUS 
Marine Mammal Acoustics 
ONE NAVY FORCE... a guide to the Naval Reserve

 

 

 

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