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Gulf Marine Animals Burdened By Noise

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View Raviya Ismail's blog posts
10 August 2010, 2:19 PM
Noisy gas and oil drilling surveys upset fragile marine ecosystems
Narwahls can't fight noise with their fearsome tooth

All of you have had that errant neighbor who decides to throw a party at 2 a.m., and the next day you are groggy and temperamental—not your best self.

Now imagine having to contend with that loud noise 24 hours a day—as marine animals in the Gulf of Mexico must because of oil and gas drilling surveys.

Earthjustice joined a lawsuit against the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (formerly the Minerals Management Service) to challenge its approval of these surveys.

Seismic surveys are used to help locate regions for oil and gas development and to generate very high sound levels in the ocean. This sound can travel literally thousands of miles underwater. For marine mammals and fish—whales and dolphins specifically—that depend on their sense of sound for most life functions, this noise is detrimental to their development and well-being.

Coupled with the fact that numerous scientific studies find excessive noise in the ocean is a growing problem for marine ecosystems, the federal agency failed to conduct an environmental analysis into these activities. That lapse violates the National Environmental Policy Act.

To break this down, there are as many as five regional seismic surveys conducted at any one time and more than 30 surveys conducted annually in the Gulf of Mexico. The surveys cover large areas and often go on 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And it's not just an issue here.

A few days ago, a Canadian judge blocked several seismic surveys that were to take place in the environmentally sensitive waters of Lancaster Sound in the Arctic. The injunction was sought by several Inuit communities finding the surveys a danger to beluga whales and narwhals (narwhals are medium-sized toothed whales that live year-round in the Arctic.)

Over in Australia, this issue is making headlines, too. Residents of a town in southwest Queensland are physically blocking a major gas company from coming into their neighborhood and conducting seismic testing in the Surat Basin. Residents are concerned about threats to their environment as a result of these surveys. Sadly there are plenty of stories about governments allowing these seismic surveys to continue, regardless of the environmental consequences.

Earthjustice attorney Steve Roady had this to say about our challenge:

 The Gulf of Mexico oil spill is only the latest in a number of environmental assaults on these animals and we're hoping to ensure that the government adequately analyzes the impacts of further exploration and development.

Couldn't agree more, humans have a much larger effect on animals than most would like to admit. The whole Gulf situation is a complete disgrace but it is only the tip of the iceberg. There are similar things happening right in our backyards... animal abuse, overcrowding, dog fighting. People treat their own pets so well with lavish pet services like grooming but completely turn a blind eye to the other pets and animals out there. We all really need to change!

The noise we create, and the pollution we gush into the oceans, and seas ,plus the over fishing, are way too much for any creature. It is like we turned the Oceans into the Ghetto !
The chances of their survial at this rate, is the same as the Ghetto childs, not very good.
Now if we all pitched in, and helped to give everything back to the Ocean that it needs, well then who knows. Perhaps, there would be scars, but the over all health would be good.
So I sure hope they win the Law Suit, and the rest of the killers, of the Oceans can be stopped too. It seems to be getting more, and more to were the destructive behavior of mankind, is going to finally show itself, to the World ,but by doing so, it might be to late. Not to mention the Mother Nature aspect of Global Warming, and Deforestation, and the clear damage that it is dong to the Planet. Just think about it for a minute... the Land, the Air, the Oceans, that is all we have. Which has always been enough, for thousands of years. However we have carelessly, and without thought, only the thoughts of greed ,have continued to Rape our Planet.
What a pity, this Planet is a Wonder, and a Gift from the Heavens themseleves !

Bebu I in Prague right now!!

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