Navy Holds Conference on The Science of Acoustic Research

Wednesday, February 13, 2008
From Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

The Navy's Scientific Operational Naval Acoustic Research Conference was held February 6-7 to provide an opportunity for the Navy's scientists, fleet operators, and environmental specialists to share information regarding recent advances in science, mission requirements, and communication needs. About 100 people attended the two-day conference, which was chaired by OPNAV N45, the Navy's environmental readiness command, and hosted by Adm. Robert F. Willard, Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet. The conference ended with agreement to hold future gatherings to discuss issues ranging from the direction of future research to procedural improvements.

While great progress has been made in recent years, many of the speakers noted that much remains to be learned about how sound behaves underwater and how it affects marine mammals. "We know more about outer space than we do about inner space," said one speaker. For example, Dr. Jim Finneran of the Navy Marine Mammal Program said hearing thresholds have been determined for 25 species of marine mammals through painstaking research. Hearing thresholds for the more than 100 other marine mammal species, including all of the large, baleen whales, have not yet been determined.

The work done by Finneran and his colleagues is part of the Navy's $18 million-a-year marine mammal research budget. Willard noted, "We are making a significant investment in the science." He said lawsuits "with no scientific basis whatsoever are costing the Navy operational flexibility." Several private organizations have sued the Navy in recent years, alleging that marine mammals are harmed by mid-frequency active sonar - the Navy's primary method of detecting extremely quiet diesel-electric submarines. Several conference participants noted there is no evidence to support many of those allegations. In a highly publicized March 2000 case in the Bahamas, 16 small whales beached themselves after they were exposed to sonar from a group of foreign and U.S. warships. Six of the whales died.

An investigation of the Bahamas strandings attributed them to sonar used in combination with certain specific physical and oceanographic conditions - including a narrow underwater canyon with no egress, for example. The Navy has since adopted measures to avoid using sonar in such conditions, and Navy sonar has not been scientifically linked to any marine mammal deaths since that case. Adm. Willard said, "With a strong scientific foundation, we hope to be able to continue the sonar training that's so vital to protecting our Sailors at sea and become even better at preventing harm to marine mammals. Speakers at the conference noted that sonar has been linked scientifically to a few dozen marine mammal deaths worldwide over the past 12 years, while the commercial fishing industry killed millions of marine mammals worldwide over the same period. Willard said the U.S. Navy has emerged as a worldwide leader in environmental care and self-discipline, with pioneering programs for disposal of plastics, hazardous waste and other pollutants from ships at sea.

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter July 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Ports

Maersk Line Offers Easiest shipping from India to Africa

Do you want to reach key markets in East Africa faster than ever before? Maersk Line claims to offer 50 years of expertise in the African trade.    The Mawingu Express,

Ship Hits Panama Canal

The Panama Canal authority  (ACP) says a Chinese container ship’s damaging scrape with the canal’s new wider locks was caused by bad weather, Reuter quotes  ACP's  administrator, Jorge Quijano.

Dubai Shipping Volumes Sink

 Dubai shipping volumes - cargo handled at Dubai's ports, which includes flagship terminal Jebel Ali - fall for third quarter Gulf News reports quoting the latest DP World figures.

Navy

U.S. Backs S. China Sea Bilateral Talks

U.S. Secretary of State Kerry says backs bilateral talks; Philippines says dispute does not involve United States. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on

Piracy Drops to 21-year Low, IMB Reports

Piracy and armed robbery at sea has fallen to its lowest levels since 1995, despite a surge in kidnappings off West Africa, according to a new report from the

New Details Emerge on Loss of USS Indianapolis

A Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) historian has recently uncovered information that sheds new light on the loss of the World War II cruiser USS Indianapolis (CA 35).

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Simulators Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.0757 sec (13 req/sec)