Dolphins swim in advance of Virginia-class attack submarine PCU Minnesota. U.S. NAVY PHOTO COURTESY OF HUNTINGTON INGALLS INDUSTRIES
U.S. officials have wrongly allowed the Navy to use sonar at levels that could harm whales and other marine mammals in the world’s oceans, a federal appeals court in San Francisco has ruled.
The decision Friday by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals would scale back the Navy’s use of low-frequency sonar in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans and the Mediterranean Sea under authority that was granted in 2012.
Sonar, used to detect submarines, can injure whales, seals and walruses and disrupt their feeding and mating. Environmental groups led by the Natural Resources Defense Council filed suit in San Francisco in 2012, arguing that the Obama administration had approved emissions at sound levels that violated the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
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WNU Editor: I am sure that this is going to be appealed. But will the U.S. Supreme Court take the case .... we shall see.