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OFFICIAL: Scientists link sonar mapping to whale strandings worldwide

21st Century Wire says…


Is it really possible for government and its military industrial machine, and oil multi-nationals like Exxon Mobil – put a price on hundreds of thousands of whales and dolphins that have been killed over the last half century, by their outdated, completely blunt and expensive ‘technologies’?

What? We’re waiting for the US and other governments, and other paid-for political stooges in the pocket of companies like Exxon Mobil to step forward and try to defend this destructive practice – maybe on its economic merits, or even for national security? Anyone?

You can see where this argument is heading – beyond farce, towards a criminal conspiracy. These organisation will do what the they like so long as they pay the right people to bury the harmful effects of their gravy train.

The Post reports on this latest admission…

Panel links underwater mapping sonar to whale stranding for first time

Lenny Bernstein
Washington Post

The mysterious stranding of about 100 melon-headed whales in a shallow Madagascar lagoon in 2008 set off a rapid international response — a few of the eight- to 10-foot marine mammals were rescued, necropsies conducted, a review panel formed.

Did they follow prey into the lagoon? Were they sick? Was it the weather or chemical toxins?

The panel recently gave its best answer, and it is causing ripples of concern. For the first time, a rigorous scientific investigation has associated a mass whale stranding with a kind of sonar that is widely used to map the ocean floor, a finding that has set off alarms among energy companies and others who say the technology is critical to safe navigation of the planet’s waters.

The independent review panel appointed by the International Whaling Commission concluded Sept. 25 that a high-powered, “multi-beam echosounder system” (MBES) was “the most plausible and likely behavioral trigger” for the stranding. About 75 of the animals, which normally inhabit deep ocean waters, died.

A contractor for Exxon Mobil was using the sonar system — which sends “ping” sounds from a vessel toward the ocean floor — in a channel between Mozambique and Madagascar to determine where an oil and gas exploration rig might be safely constructed. Computers use the returning echo from the pulses of sound to map the ocean floor.

The panel of five scientists “systematically excluded or deemed highly unlikely” nearly every other possibility before settling on the use of the MBES, which previously was considered relatively benign, according to the group’s report.

“The evidence seems clear to us that [the MBES] was pretty likely” the cause, said Brandon L. Southall, the panel’s chairman and a marine biologist at the University of California at Santa Cruz. He said he hopes the report will cause governments, regulatory agencies and private companies to “realize that some of the types of mapping sonars have the potential to cause reactions in marine mammals that can be detrimental.”

Exxon Mobil, which helped select the panel and partly funded the rescue of some of the whales in 2008, rejects the conclusion, contending that the evidence is too flimsy for a determination that could have a far-reaching impact.

“While Exxon Mobil is not accepting responsibility for the stranding in light of the uncertainties in the report, we did cooperate and provide funding for the response effort in 2008 and the review panel because we are working in Madagascar”…

Read more at WP

READ MORE ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Environmental Files

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