Loud, repeated blasts of sonar can cause a dolphin to temporarily lose its hearing, according to an investigation into a suspected link between naval operations and cetacean strandings.
Numerous beachings of whales, dolphins and porpoises have occurred over the past decade, prompting a finger of blame to be pointed at warship exercises.
Some experts believe the mammals’ hearing becomes damaged by the powerful mid-frequency sonar used by submarines and surface vessels, prompting the creatures, which themselves use sound for navigation, to become disoriented.
A investigation by the Nature and Parks Authority was able to determine that the cause of the mass killing was due to seismic surveying by the company from Italy. Over a period of 24 hours, roughly 20 explosions were set off every nine seconds.
Seismic testing maps the ocean floor and estimates if there may be oil and gas, but only exploratory drilling can confirm their presence.
Here is more evidence that sonar causes ‘the bends’ in whales. Imagine what seismic blasting does. This death outcome for cetaceans must be fully explored before seismic testing in the Great Australian Bight (GAB) continues. There must be an immediate moratorium on it and use of military sonar in areas frequented by whales and dolphins. Does anyone have the time to take this up with NOPSEMA the regulatory organisation that has given the go ahead for seismic blasting in the GAB?