Marine mammals—such as bearded and ringed seals, beluga whales, and the endangered bowhead whale—depend on sound to communicate, find food, and avoid prey. Oil exploration activities fill the ocean with loud noise that can interfere with these basic functions. Seismic surveying, for example, uses air-guns to detect oil beneath the sea-floor. The blasts—loud enough to cause deafness—occur day and night for months, and cover vast areas of the ocean.
Unfortunately, the federal government is proposing moving forward with loud and risky oil exploration methods even though it has not completed an assessment of the cumulative impacts on Arctic marine mammals.
Tell the National Marine Fisheries Service not to permit any Arctic Ocean oil exploration until it completes a full analysis of the effects and understands how to mitigate the damage to marine mammals.