north atlantic right whales

Help Stop the Assault on Whales and Dolphins With Just Your Facebook Photo

Posted Wed, Oct 10, 2012 by Victoria Principal to dolphins, facebook app, north atlantic right whales, oil and gas exploration, seismic airgun testing, whales

©Oceana

Editor’s note: This blog by actress and environmentalist Victoria Principal was originally posted at NRDC’s OnEarth blog.

I’ve been fascinated with marine life like whales and dolphins since I was a kid. Their grace and power, their beauty and intelligence, their joy and their song -- they are truly special creatures.

Now, as an adult, I feel a responsibility to do all I can to help protect ocean wildlife from environmental risks  … like the latest threat posed by oil companies dead set on seismic testing in the Atlantic Ocean.

In case you haven’t heard, for the first time in 30 years the U.S. government plans to open up the Atlantic Ocean from Florida to Delaware to high-intensity seismic exploration for offshore oil and gas.

It's a disaster waiting to happen. After the BP oil spill I teamed up with NRDC and Oceana to help protect the ocean from further tragedy. In an effort to stop these seismic testing plans from happening, we’ve created a Facebook photo petition urging the Secretary of Interior to abandon this plan. Please “sign” the petition by adding your Facebook profile photo!

seismic petition

Add your picture to our Facebook photo petition urging the Department of the Interior to abandon the proposal to allow seismic testing in the Atlantic that could injure hundreds of thousands of whales and dolphins!

Not only is seismic testing the gateway to drilling off our coasts, it represents in itself a major assault on our oceans, with widespread harm to ocean wildlife like whales, dolphins and fish. Seismic testing in the Atlantic would expose ocean wildlife to constant dynamite-like blasts about every 10 seconds, 24-hours a day, for weeks and months on end. Even the government admits it could injure up to 138,500 marine mammals and disrupt marine mammal feeding, calving, breeding, and other vital activities more than 13.5 million times.

And because of the enormous distance sound can travel in the ocean, the noise from seismic testing can stretch many hundreds of miles and drive whales to abandon their habitats, go silent, and cease foraging over vast areas of ocean. At shorter distances, it can cause permanent hearing loss, injury, and death.

It would also harm our multi-billion dollar fishing, tourism, and recreational industries that support hundreds of thousands of American jobs. All of this just to make it easier for oil companies to find new sites in our oceans for offshore drilling.

And that just breaks my heart.

The upside though is that we can do something about it. If enough people add their photo to the petition, the Secretary of the Interior will have to take notice. It’s not too late to turn this thing around.

If you’re not on Facebook, you can also sign our traditional-style petition here. Every signature counts!


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Oceana Holds Seismic Airgun Protest

Posted Wed, Oct 3, 2012 by admin to cod, deaf dolphins, Department of the Interior, dolphins, haddock, ken salazar, loggerhead sea turtles, north atlantic right whales, right whales, seismic airgun testing, whales

Protesters brave the rain ©OCEANA

Yesterday Oceana and its supporters braved foul weather to protest a truly foul idea. Armed with airhorns and megaphones they gave the Department of the Interior (DOI) a tiny preview of what is in store for the ocean’s inhabitants should the Department allow seismic airgun testing to go forward in the Atlantic Ocean.

The DOI is currently reviewing a proposal to use seismic airguns to search for pockets of oil and gas in a huge expanse of ocean from Delaware to Florida. The effects of these round-the-clock tests, which will run for days on end with dynamite-like blasts firing at 10 second intervals, will be devastating to marine mammals and fish alike.

As Oceana marine scientist Matthew Huelsenbeck said at the event:

“There is only one word that I can use that sums up this proposal: unacceptable. The levels of impacts to protected dolphins and whales, including critically endangered species like the North Atlantic right whale are simply unacceptable.”


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Whale Wednesday

Posted Wed, May 27, 2009 by Emily Fisher to north atlantic right whales, whale wednesday, whales

right whales

Good news for this whale Wednesday: According to new research presented, interestingly, at the Acoustical Society of America, the distinctive calls of North Atlantic right whales have been detected in a former whaling ground off the southeastern tip of Greenland. Right whales in the area were presumed extinct due to hunting in the late 19th century, and in the past 50 years, only two whales have been spotted in the area. Curious what the right whale sounds like? Listen to the "upcall," "gunshot" and "scream" the scientists might have heard.


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Sailors Detour for Whales

Posted Mon, Apr 27, 2009 by Emily Fisher to north atlantic right whales, sailing, whales

volvo ocean race

You may have read about the around-the-world Volvo Ocean Race on our OCYC blog, but here's a first for the race: as the NYT reported, the seven remaining yachts had to make a detour to go around a whale sanctuary near Boston this weekend. The boats, which can reach 30 mph, sailed around the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and the North Atlantic right whales that are feeding in the area. Due to the boats' speed, a collision with a whale can be disastrous for both parties -- the animal may be killed and crew members could be thrown into rigging (that's the sailing apparatus, for all you non-sailors). Marine mammal collisions are increasingly a problem. Several sailors in the recent Vendée Globe race sustained severe damage to their boats after hitting what they believed were marine mammals. And one sailor in the Artemis trans-Atlantic race last May had to abandon his boat after he reported striking a large sea mammal.


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