Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Beached Dolphins? Blame The Navy!

There's another case of a mass dolphin beaching on the coast of Zanzibar this week, and the MSM immediately decides that Navy sonar (and in particular submarine sonar) is to blame. From the last-linked article, provocatively titled "Submarine Sonar Suspected in Mystery Death of 400 Dolphins":

"It was not immediately clear what killed the 400 dolphins, whose carcasses were strewn along a four-kilometre stretch of Nungwi, said Narriman Jidawi, a marine biologist at the Institute of Marine Science in Zanzibar...
"...In the United States, experts were investigating the possibility that sonar from US submarines could have been responsible for a similar incident in Marathon, Florida, where 68 deep-water dolphins stranded themselves in March last year...
"...A US Navy taskforce patrols the East Africa coast as part of counter-terrorism operations."

It's interesting that they call it a U.S. Navy task force, since it includes Dutch and French ships, along with those of other allies; it's all part of CTF 150, which is currently commanded by a Pakistani Vice Admiral (who recently relieved a Dutch Commodore).

I said earlier that surveillance of the areas of heavy piracy off the Somali coast would be a good job for a submarine, but I'd be surprised if we actually have a boat there. As I mentioned, we do have a allied Naval Task Force further north along the African Coast. Whatever they're doing there, it's unlikely that they'd be using a lot of sonar, and any submarine that might be there almost assuredly wouldn't be going active. Still, rather than worry about facts like this, it's much easier for the press to just try to blame the Americans for something bad, since apparently we're responsible for every bad thing that happens in the world.


Blogger Skippy-san said...

With all due respect, the only time a Pakistani should command a US or NATO vessel is when hell freezes over. War on terror or no, there is a certain order to the universe.........

I weep for his staff.

4/30/2006 5:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

what do you think beached these mamals sir?

5/04/2006 3:57 PM

Blogger Trickish Knave said...

As a bubblehead sonarman these stories are near and dear to my heart.

I can sense the condescenion in the tone of the anon poster, because hey, what else could possibly kill marine mammals other than 200+ dB active sonar?

Admittedly, I can remember underways when we were actually given permission by he Officer of the Deck to go active for "training" because there were so many biologic traces showing up on our sonar screens that is was hard to see (hear) anything else.

Yep, a few well placed pings of active down the bearing of these aural nuisances did wonders for the background noise later on, after the 30 minutes of reverberation subsided.

There are more and more marine mammal protection messages that come out when the US Navy does an exercise putting hefty restrictions on us if marine mammals are in the area, to include turning our ship away form them, limiting our output level, etc. so that Flipper and Willy won't get a headache and decide to lay on the breach for a while.

I give all of you "Save the Whales" activists a thumb to my nose- we do whatever the hell we want during our exercise.


5/09/2006 2:18 PM


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