The experiment in which a dozen whales would be locked up to test their hearing was described as “daring” by the researchers, yet has sparked international protests over the inhumane treatment of animals. A petition by 50 researchers from across the globe gathered over 60,000 signatures, asking the Norwegian authorities to drop it.
The project aimed to establish what kind of outside sounds can disturb the whales sparked fierce opposition from animal rights activists, yet was given permission from the Norwegian Food Safety Authority.
Yet, after barely three weeks outside Stamsund at Lofoten, the researchers are now stopping further research without any result. The researchers only managed to catch only whales, however, two of them appeared too large for the test equipment and one of them managed to find a hole in the enclosure and escaped.
Still, the Armed Forces Research Institute refused to acknowledge that the project has been a failure.
The researchers have theories that sounds scare the animals away from grazing areas. The animals can also be so frightened that they swim too fast to the surface. Much of the current noise level at sea stems from boats, industry, and the Navy. For marine mammals, sound is an important sense. By making sounds and…