Navy banned from using sonar that harms dolphins and walruses

Navy banned from using sonar that harms dolphins and walruses
USS Nimitz (CVN-68) enters Pearl Harbor in 2001. (Image: US Navy)

A federal appeals court ruled on Friday that the US Navy was wrongly allowed to use sonar in the nation’s oceans that could harm whales and other marine life.

The ninth circuit court of appeals reversed a lower court decision upholding approval granted in 2012 for the Navy to use low-frequency sonar for training, testing and routine operations.

The five-year approval covered peacetime operations in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans and the Mediterranean Sea.

The appellate panel sent the matter back to the lower court for further proceedings.

A message seeking comment from representatives of the US Pacific Fleet in Honolulu was not immediately returned.

Sonar, used to detect submarines, can injure whales, seals, dolphins and walruses and disrupt their feeding and mating.

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