The AP reported today “Navy cites increased risk of sonar” (May 11, 2012) that the Navy has doubled its estimate of the number of marine mammals that could be harmed by powerful sonar tests in waters off Hawaiʻi and California:
The U.S. Navy says its use of sonar and explosives could potentially hurt more dolphins and whales in Hawaii and California waters than previously thought.
The new research and more thorough analysis are part of an environmental impact statement covering Navy training and testing planned for 2014 and 2018.
The Navy estimates its use of explosives and sonar may unintentionally cause more than 1,600 instances of hearing loss or other injury to marine mammals in one year.
Its use of explosives may inadvertently cause more than 200 marine mammal deaths a year.
The old analysis — covering 2009 through 2013 — estimated the service might unintentionally injure or kill about 100 marine mammals.
All of this is in preparation for the onslaught of military activity that is RIMPAC, the largest multi-national military exercise in the world.