Navy war games could impinge on the endangered right whales calving area off the Florida coast. For only the second time in the history of whale birth videography, a right whale birth has been filmed.
Derecha, a right whale, gave birth Saturday in the ocean off Vilano Beach. This happened within approximately 10 miles of the patch of ocean where the Navy wants to conduct its war games exercises. It would install hundreds of devices on the ocean floor that can monitor the training movements of ships, submarines, planes and helicopters. Onshore trainers would use the equipment to give crews almost immediate analysis and feedback on their performance.
What it would not measure is the environmental impact of the devices, the ship traffic and sonar use at the location could have on the endangered whales in their only known birthing area. Environmental groups known and are suing to protect the whales and their habitat. Not known is the effects of these “activities on dolphins, other sea creatures and the ocean floor.
Annually during the winter months, Right whales from New England and Canada migrate to the Florida-Georgia coast. The total population is thought to be about 450, more than 100 whales went to the area this winter.
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