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AEI FactCheck: Navy/NRDC Battle of the Soundbites

Animal Communication, Human impacts, News, Science, Sonar Add comments

Been wondering what’s up with the great “Sonar Kills Whales”/”Everything’s Fine, Just Go Away” rhetorical battle between NRDC and the Navy? As you might suspect, the reality is not nearly so neatly defined as either of them might suggest….and if you’re up for digging into it more deeply, the Acoustic Ecology Institute has just posted an AEI FactCheck that explores three key questions:

  • Dead Whales: How Common?
  • Behavioral Reactions: Millions of Whales Affected, or Negligible Impact
  • Additional Mitigation: Common Sense Precautions or Undermining Sailor Safety?

There’s a fair dose of decoding science and regulatory details in this document, as well as acknowledgment of the underlying unspoken ethical questions that lead to radically different perspectives on the same data.

Check it out at
AEI is a resource/information center for sound-related environmental issues, run by editor/writer Jim Cummings (yup, that’s me…). We’ve some how managed to become friends with top scientists and agency staff, major environmental groups, and even a few folks in the Navy and oil and gas industry. More at

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