Planning Is Critical to Ensure Effective Mitigation of Naval Activities
Navies self-regulate their impacts and set their own mitigation strategies. Current onboard mitigation efforts are generally untested but are probably insufficient for many species. Furthermore, increasing scientific evidence demonstrates that the ranges required for successful mitigation based on safety zones are usually larger than is feasible to monitor with current real-time onboard practices. Additionally, the potential exists for detrimental cumulative impacts arising from multiple exposures to sonar in conjunction with other military activities that include exercises incorporating a range of vessels such as warships, carriers, aircraft (including helicopters), and submarines and with a variety of events such as missile and ordnance testing and “sinking” exercises as well as with civilian activities. The adoption by all navies of effective, long-term, and meaningful management measures in the planning stage is an urgent priority. Fortunately, a number of navies have already undertaken considerable work to protect marine wildlife, demonstrating that environmental duty of care does not need to come at the expense of navy training.
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