The US navy has requested permits to increase training exercises off the Pacific Coast that involve the use of sonar buoys.
The navy wants to deploy up to 720 of the buoys off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and northern California. The devices, about 3ft long and 6in in diameter, send out underwater sound signals so air crews can train to detect submarines, but high levels of noise pollution could harm endangered whales that live in the water.
The navy’s training range is home to orcas, humpback and blue whales, as well as seals, sea lions and dolphins. Loud underwater noise can all put whales and dolphins in danger, cause them to strand on coastlines, and even kill them.