Whale carnage and the Navy

| Mon Jun. 26, 2000 3:00 AM EDT

It's looking increasingly likely that a new US Navy sonar system is to blame for the record number of injured and dead whales washing up on beaches this year. (We hate to say we told you so, but the MoJo Wire published a story about this more than a year ago.)

The ASSOCIATED PRESS has now picked up the story, reporting that, according to the federal government's own expert, the large number of beached whales in the Bahamas recently is linked to the use of the Navy's extremely powerful anti-sub system. The system's high-powered sound waves can cause ear hemmorhages in marine mammals, causing whales -- who depend on their own sense of hearing to navigate -- to veer off course during migration, or even die from their injuries.

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The Navy is reportedly hiring a panel of experts to examine the issue as a "priority need." Then again, that's the same thing they said back when experts first voiced concern about the system's potential for carnage.

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