Wednesday, February 22, 2012

whales - PBS | US Navy | whale story

Ocean Giants | PBS - Nature

Watch Ocean Giants - Preview on PBS. See more from Nature.

i just learned that blue whales live for 2 centuries - the few remaining old ones remember the really bad days, even have old harpoons still in them. bigger than dinosaurs... living here and now on earth with us today... - problem is global warming is likely to disrupt their food supply so badly that something that huge won't be able to survive.

Whales and dolphins conjure a deep sense of wonder in us that’s hard to explain. From the Arctic to the Amazon, this groundbreaking three-part series goes on a global expedition with world-renowned underwater cameramen, Doug Allen (Planet Earth) and Didier Noirot (Jacques Cousteau’s cameraman), as they capture spellbinding footage of these marine mammals. Ocean Giants looks at how cetaceans hunt, mate, and communicate, and follows scientists as they strive to uncover new insights about these animals.

Watch Songs of the Humpbacks on PBS. See more from Nature.

The first hour, Giant Lives, enters the world of the great whales. In the Arctic, giant bowhead whales survive the freezing cold wrapped in fifty tons of insulating blubber two-feet thick, making them the fattest animals on the planet. But the biggest animal on the planet is the blue whale. Measuring a hundred feet long, and weighing in at 200 tons, it is double the size of the largest dinosaur.

The second hour, Deep Thinkers, explores the cognitive and emotional lives of dolphins and whales. Like us, cetaceans have special brain cells, spindle cells, that are associated with communication, emotion, and heightened social sensitivity. These cells were once thought to be unique to us, but research is now showing that whales and dolphins may have up to three times more spindle cells than humans.

Marine mammals’ extrasensory perceptions and communication skills are the focus of Voices of the Sea, the final hour of the series. Whales and dolphins depend on sound to function in their ocean home. They use ultrasound to see inside other creatures, clicks and whistles to speak, and echolocation to navigate and hunt in the pitch-black depths.

Join PBS Nature, as it dives into the world of whales and dolphins, and reveals the secrets of their intimate lives like never before. Ocean Giants premieres on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at 8/7 c (check local listings).

whale song spectogram

Spectrogram of Humpback Whale vocalizations. Detail is shown for the first 24 seconds of the 37 second recording Humpback Whale "Song". The ethereal whale "songs" and echolocation "clicks" are visible as horizontal striations and vertical sweeps respectively. Spectrogram generated with Fatpigdog's PC based Real Time FFT Spectrum Analyzer.

Whale sounds - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Navy Sonar & Whales

Low Frequency Active Sonar spectogram

The U.S. Navy is experimenting with a long range underwater sonar system which is to be used to detect the presence and position of submarines deep in the oceans of the world. It uses a low frequency signal that can travel great distances and presumeably bounce off targets that are hundreds of meters below the ocean surface.

DolphinEAR Hydrophones

Navy Sonar & Whales | EARTHJUSTICE

Navy Sonar & Whales

Navy sonar harms whales and dolphins. Check out this video and hear what it sounds like, and see what it does to these marine mammals. Earthjustice is working to get the Navy to use their sonar in places where it won't harm whales and dolphins.

The incident recorded in this video occurred in Puget Sound in May 2003. It was investigated by the National Marine Fisheries Service, Office of Protected Resources, who filed a report.

Video: Orca and Navy Sonar | Earthjustice

A whale's keen sense of hearing is vital in every aspect of its life history, including foraging for food, finding mates, bonding with offspring, communicating with other members of their species, navigating through lightless waters and avoiding predators.
Experts agree that exposure to sonar blasts can cause serious injury or death from hemorrhages or other tissue trauma. Whales can also suffer from temporary and permanent hearing loss, displacement from preferred habitat, and disruption of feeding, breeding, communication and other behaviors essential to survival.
The use of military sonar has been associated with whale strandings in Greece (1996), the Bahamas (2000), Madeira (2000), Vieques (1998, 2002), the Canary Islands (2002, 2004), the northwest coast of the U.S. (2003), Kaua'i (2004) and Spain (2006).


Earthjustice Attorney Steve Mashuda discusses this case in an interview with San Francisco Bay Area NBC News affiliate KNTV.

Navy Sonar and Marine Mammals: On January 26, 2012, a coalition of conservation and American Indian groups sued the National Marine Fisheries Service for failing to protect thousands of whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, and sea lions from U.S. Navy warfare training exercises along the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington. In late 2010, NMFS gave the Navy a permit for five years of expanded naval activity that will harm or "take" marine mammals and other sealife. The permit allows the Navy to conduct increased training exercises that can harm marine mammals and disrupt their migration, nursing, breeding, or feeding, primarily as a result of harassment through exposure to the use of sonar.

North Atlantic Right Whales: In 2010, conservation groups challenged the U.S. Navy's decision to build a $100 million Undersea Warfare Training Range 50 miles east of Jacksonville, FL, next to the only known calving ground for the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale. The warfare training grounds would include a system of approximately 300 underwater "sonar nodes" connected by cable to a landside facility some 50 nautical miles away. Scientists believe that the loss of even one right whale from non-natural causes could jeopardize the future of the species.

Navy Sonar and Hawaiian Humpback Whales: In 2008, Hawai'i federal district Judge David A. Ezra found that the Navy violated federal law and enjoined it from carrying out its undersea warfare exercises in Hawai'i's waters without adhering to additional mitigation measures to protect marine mammals. Earthjustice had filed suit on behalf of the Ocean Mammal Institute, the Animal Welfare Institute, KAHEA: The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Surfrider Foundation's Kaua'i Chapter.

Endangered Species Protections for Southern Residents: In 2005, Earthjustice successfully argued that the Southern Resident orcas in Washington State's Puget Sound deserve protection under the Endangered Species Act, resulting in new safeguards for the orcas, including the creation of a binding recovery plan, protection for the whales' critical habitat, and assurances that all federal projects will protect the whales before the projects can proceed.
Listen to an audio interview with VP For Litigation Patti Goldman.

Video: Orca and Navy Sonar | Earthjustice

Navy Training Blasts Marine Mammals with Harmful Sonar | Earthjustice

January 26, 2012
San Francisco, CA - A coalition of conservation and American Indian groups today sued the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for failing to protect thousands of whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, and sea lions from U.S. Navy warfare training exercises along the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington.

Earthjustice, representing InterTribal Sinkyone Wilderness Council, Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth, Friends of the San Juans, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and People For Puget Sound, today filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Northern California challenging NMFS’s approval of the Navy’s training activities in its Northwest Training Range Complex. The lawsuit calls on NMFS to mitigate anticipated harm to marine mammals and biologically critical areas within the training range that stretches from Northern California to the Canadian border.
“These training exercises will harm dozens of protected species of marine mammals—Southern Resident killer whales, blue whales, humpback whales, dolphins, and porpoises—through the use of high-intensity mid-frequency sonar,” said Steve Mashuda, an Earthjustice attorney representing the groups. “The Fisheries Service fell down on the job and failed to require the Navy to take reasonable and effective actions to protect them.”
The Navy uses a vast area of the West Coast for training activities including anti-submarine warfare exercises involving tracking aircraft and sonar; surface-to-air gunnery and missile exercises; air-to-surface bombing exercises; sink exercises; and extensive testing for several new weapons systems... > more

> Read the fact sheet: "West Coast Marine Life and the Navy’s NW Training Range"

Canadian sonar in U.S. waters

The frigate HMCS Ottawa

"First there were 4 detections of explosive sounds"

A growing coalition of scientists, educators, and citizens are working together to expand a regional hydrophone network in the Salish Sea. This site is part of the SeaSound Project of The Whale Museum and is an experiment in sharing real-time underwater sound. The goals are to monitor the critical habitat of endangered southern resident killer whales to detect orca sounds and measure ambient noise levels. Hydrophone Network

see also Low Frequency Active Sonar Network

Beaked Whales Respond to Simulated and Actual Navy Sonar | NOAA Fisheries Service’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC)

SURTASS LFA: "The Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System (SURTASS) Low Frequency Active (LFA) is a long range surveillance sonar the U.S. Navy needs for national security."

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