In January 2005, 34 whales became stranded and died along North Carolina’s Outer Banks in the United States. It was later revealed the extraordinary event coincided with U.S. Navy sonar training taking place nearby.
The images of these magnificent animals dying on the shore were a stark reminder of the impact sonar technology can have on sea life. Over the past decades, hundreds of whales and other sea creatures have been mysteriously washing up in beaches around the world, raising concerns from the environmental community: just how much damage have military sonars done to life under the sea?
With the increase in sonar testing and technological development, tensions between national security issues and the need to preserve the wildlife are rapidly growing. Although U.S. authorities originally denied any relationship between whale strandings and the experiments with mid-frequency sonar technology, organizations like the Natural Resources Defense Council @NRDC and several committed environmentalists have been able to prove the damage sonar exercises have on marine mammals like whales and dolphins.
Americas Now correspondent Mike Kirsch travelled to North America’s Pacific Coast to find out more about the sonar threat from the people that have been directly involved in the long struggle to protect these majestic animals.