Favorable Hawaii Navy Sonar Ruling


Chapter: Kauai
State: HI
Country: USA
Theme: Ocean Protection
Completion Date: February 01 2008
Status: Victory

Federal District Court Chief Judge Ezra in Hawaii ruled that the U.S. Navy would not be allowed to carry on its undersea warfare exercises without implementing further mitigation measures to protect marine mammals. In response to a complaint brought by Surfrider and other conservation groups, Judge Ezra ordered eight new mitigation provisions including increased monitoring for marine mammals for one hour each day before using sonar, three lookouts exclusively to spot the animals during sonar use and stop sonar transmission altogether when one of the mammals is within 500 meters, and sonar must be gradually powered on to warn marine mammals and allow escape. The judge also held that the Navy has failed to investigate alternatives to conducting these exercises. In a parallel case in California on the same day, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected President Bush's attempt to exempt the exercises from environmental laws.