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Extremely high noise levels at an oil and gas construction site off the east coast of Russia is frightening critically endangered whales out of their summer feeding grounds, reports New Scientist. Monitors for WWF (World Wildlife Fund) and Sakhalin Environment Watch report that western gray whales were nowhere to be seen over the weekend of 30 June to 1 July, when noise levels increased dramatically. Normally the monitors see the whales daily. Sakhalin Energy, a company partially owned by oil giant Shell, is in the final stages of installing two platforms 7.5 miles offshore &mdash part of the world's largest oil and gas extraction project. The company denies exceeding noise limits. Fewer than 100 western grey whales are left on Earth. They congregate around Sakhalin to feed. . . Just another way the carbon footprint squashes the life out of the planet. JULIA WHITTY