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whale2.JPGIn the interest of fairness to our readers, the following rebuttal appeared in our blog’s comment section the other day. In this comment, it’s author, Navy Petty Officer Shane Tuck, took issue with our position supporting a California Federal Court’s banning of the use of sonar off our Pacific Coast for the widespread harm that it is believed to be doing to nearly 30 species of marine mammals, including five species of endangered whales.

Now I do not know if Petty Officer Tuck is a member of the Navy’s media department and is commenting here because it is his job to do so, or if he is merely a concerned serviceman. Either way, the Petty Officer has a right to be heard and to share his opinions and convictions with out audience.

In closing, the editors of libsearthwatch.com would like to reaffirm our support of the court’s decision and to compliment U.S. District Judge Florence Marie Cooper for her fearless action in this matter.

The Wales, dolphins and other marine mammals are already fighting an uphill battle against extinction. We as an enlightened society do not need to hasten their demise.

Please feel free to add your comments to the discussion and I will forward the relevant ones to Petty Officer Tuck.




My name is Petty Officer Shane Tuck, and I have some information on the Navy’s perspective on this issue. The Navy issued the following release regarding the court decision:

Aug. 6, 2007

Court halts Navy’s ability to train realistically off Southern California

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Navy officials say they are deeply concerned by today’s federal court ruling that prohibits the Navy from training realistically before deploying Sailors and Marines potentially into harm’s way.

A U.S. district judge in Los Angeles granted a preliminary injunction — requested by the Natural Resources Defense Council and other environmental and animal protection groups — that bars the Navy from using active sonar during critical joint task force training exercises and composite training unit exercises through 2009 in the ocean off Southern California.

“We are disappointed in the court’s decision and plan to appeal the imposition of an injunction,” said Mr. Don Schregardus, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for the environment. “The decision puts Sailors and Marines at risk by ordering the Navy to stop critical anti-submarine warfare training while we complete Environmental Impact Statements on our training ranges.”

Vice Adm. Samuel Locklear, the San Diego-based commander of the U.S. Third Fleet who oversees naval training in the Eastern Pacific, said, “To the extent this court decision prevents us from using active sonar, it potentially puts American lives and our national security at risk.”

The Navy has conducted similar exercises in the Southern California Operating Area for 70 years and has used similar active sonar technology for the past 40 years.

“In all those years, not a single stranding or injury of a marine mammal has been associated with the Navy’s use of MFA sonar in the Southern California Operating Area,” Locklear said.

Read full article at


For more information, I recommend viewing


Related Stories: More data on sonar damaging marine mammals

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