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    HomeUnited StatesU.S NavyNavy Seeks Revision Allowing for More Whale Deaths

    Navy Seeks Revision Allowing for More Whale Deaths

    Navy Seeks Revision Allowing for More Whale Deaths

    The Navy is asking the National Marine Fisheries Service to “modify” its regulations to allow for more injuries to marine mammals during Pacific training.

    The NMFS authorizes the Navy an “incidental take”– a calculation of the number of times the government believes Navy operations could result in marine life getting harassed, injured or killed in a certain area even if sailors are working to mitigate the impact.

    The Navy's current operating permit for its Hawaii-Southern California Training and Testing Study Area expires in 2025 and allows up to three large whales to be killed in “ship strikes” — fatal collisions at sea. As of 2023, the Navy has hit that limit through incidents off Southern California.

    But in a public legal notice posted online to the Federal Register on Monday by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the agency said the Navy has asked the NMFS to retroactively amend the regulations to allow for two more fatal ship strikes to large whales before the permit expires.

    The Navy also put forth mitigation policies in its request that it says should prevent such ship strikes. However, the fact that the service asked for permission to change regulations to allow for more has drawn criticism from environmental watchdog groups.

    “The Navy's main response to hitting and killing whales is to ask for permission to harm more whales. It's nonsensical and extremely disappointing,” said Kristen Monsell,…

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