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Additional environmental groups sue Navy, fisheries service over sonar training


  • This undated image provided by the SOCAL-BRS project shows a researcher tagging a blue whale off the coast of Southern California. Two recent studies off Southern California found certain endangered blue whales and beaked whales stopped feeding and fled from recordings of noise similar to military sonar. (AP Photo/SOCAL-BRS project)
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SAN FRANCISCO » More environmental groups are challenging the National Marine Fisheries Service’s decision to allow the Navy to inadvertently harm whales and dolphins while conducting sonar and other training off Hawaii and Southern California.

Groups led by the Natural Resources Defense Council filed a lawsuit against the fisheries service and the Navy in federal court in San Francisco today.

The fisheries service last month issued the Navy a permit for the training.

Navy officials estimate its activities would have a negligible impact on marine mammal populations. But the NRDC argues sonar is responsible for population declines in marine mammal populations.

The lawsuit comes a several weeks after Earthjustice and other environmental groups filed a similar lawsuit in federal court in Honolulu.

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