Conservatives call for action to save dolphins
Conservatives.com - UK
28th October 2004
The European Parliament is to debate a resolution calling on the
European Commission to carry out a study of the impact of naval
sonars on the marine environment. The resolution calls on
EU Member States to adopt a moratorium on the deployment of
Low Frequency Active sonars until such a study is completed,
and calls on Member States to adopt geographic restrictions on
the use of high intensity active sonars in sensitive marine habitats under their jurisdiction.
Conservatives are using the debate to call for immediate action in ending the practice of pair trawling and for research into the effects of sonars on dolphins.
Dr Caroline Jackson MEP, Conservative Environment Spokesman in the European Parliament, said:
"I represent the South West of England where an increasing number of dolphins have been washed ashore dead. Attention has focused on naval sonars as a cause. However, the absolute priority of groups concerned about such sea mammal deaths is to put a stop to indiscriminate pair trawling.
We want to see more research into the effect of naval sonars on dolphins, and see what EU legislation can do to mitigate the effect of high intensity naval sonar through the operation of the existing habitats directive.
But we have to be realistic. Blocking the use of the sonars in any EU waters would deprive those who defend us of a useful early warning tool that we may well need in a dangerous world.
The Ministry of Defence has recognised that there could be an adverse acoustic effect on marine mammals and for that reason they will put in place measures to protect marine mammals - avoiding the use of sonar in marine breeding grounds for instance."