Monday, April 18, 2005

Reef Court

Reef Court

Reef Court (2001)

The United States Navy has been stopped from testing a powerful sonar system in most of the world's oceans after a federal judge ruled that the booming sounds used to detect enemy submarines could "irreparably harm" whales, dolphins and fish.


Scientists discovered that bursts of intensive sound can tear the delicate air-filled tissues around mammals' brains and ears, resulting in hemorrhaging and death.

The navy said its newest system, which uses low-frequency waves, has never been implicated in mass strandings, in which injured whales beach themselves.

The navy wants to comb 75 per cent of the world's oceans with the low-frequency active sonar, which is designed to "light up" enemy submarines with acoustics, much the way a floodlight can illuminate an intruder in a dark backyard.


Neither the navy nor the National Marine Fisheries Service has said whether it will appeal against the judge's decision.

Should the appeal go to a "higher court"?

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