The Trump administration announced on Friday the approvals of five requests to conduct seismic tests off the Atlantic shore. However, such tests could result in the deaths of tens of thousands of dolphins, whales and other animals. The announcement from the National Marine Fisheries Service comes just one week after the Trump Administration released a major federal climate change report on Black Friday.
According to The Washington Post, “In addition to harming sea life, acoustic tests — in which boats tugging rods pressurized for sound emit jet engine-like booms 10 to 12 seconds apart for days and sometimes months — can disrupt thriving commercial fisheries.”
Stiff opposition is expected from Atlantic coast governors and lawmakers, as well as environmental groups, as a result of this announcement. The Washington Post has more:
Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), the ranking minority-party member of the House Natural Resources Committee who will probably take over as chair in the next Congress, blasted the administration’s decision to permit acoustic testing as “an alarming sign of [its] indifference to the fate of coastal communities and marine life, including the endangered north Atlantic right whale.”
He bemoaned the timing of the announcement shortly after the climate report’s release, saying, “There is nothing this administration won’t do for the fossil fuel industry, including destroying local economies and ruining endangered species habitats.”
According to one model prediction in a 2014 study released by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in 2014, nearly 2.5 million dolphins would be harassed or possibly killed by acoustic sound blasts each year in the middle and southern Atlantic, and nearly a half-million pilot whales would be affected.
Read the full story on The Washington Post.
Meanwhile, see more of the latest environmental news below.
- Left Behind by Trump’s Boom: The Rural Americans Who Elected Him (Bloomberg)
- Your online shopping is polluting this small town (Curbed)
- Patagonia’s Billionaire Founder To Give Away The Millions His Company Saved From Trump’s Tax Cuts To Save The Planet (Forbes)
- Extreme heat from climate change a ‘medical emergency,’ sickening tens of millions worldwide (USA Today)
- Total ban on plastics ‘could damage environment’ (BBC)