MARCH 18, 1998 UPDATE
URGENT APPEAL FOR TESTIMONY
From: "Chris Reid "
Dear Friends, In recent weeks, the number of humpback whales seen off the west coast of the Big Island (Hawaii) has diminished drastically. Within the last 24 hours, appeals have been made to NMFS to immediately stop the LFAS tests, based on this and other pertinent information. Page 10, item 6 of the NMFS permit states: "Source transmissions shall be suspended immediately if acute behavioral response (e.g.,........abnormal number of animals present or absent in the area, abnormal mother-calf activity, or erratic swimming behavior of pinnipeds, small cetaceans, or sea turtles) ...is detected." If this has been your experience, we need your immediate faxes or phone calls to Mr. Eugene Nitta at 808/973-2941 fax or 808/973-2987 phone in Honolulu. He may contend that a substantiated link is required between the tests and the behavioral changes, however, according to the permit definition, this is inaccurate. ASK HIM TO STOP THE TESTS, INSIST THAT HE ENFORCE THE LAW. Make your phone call today. Share this appeal with others and have them take action also. Act locally, think globally! Your support and phone calls really do make a difference.
Second March 18th update
MARCH 18, 1988 FACTUAL EVIDENCE: STOP USING LFAS
From: Benedick Howard To: The President of the United States William Jefferson Clinton
CC: Hillary Clinton ,
Mr. President, Compassionately and with deep respect, I forward and append the document
faxed to The Honorable John H. Dalton yesterday 3/17/98. I trust you will listen and hear
FACTUAL EVIDENCE: We have compiled factual evidence that the Navy has repeatedly abused the terms of the Environmental Assessment Agreement for Phase III of the LFAS testing in Hawaii. PLEASE read and follow the links below.
QUADRUPLE THE E-MAIL CAMPAIGN: I am asking that others quadruple the intensity of our email "Stop using LFAS Worldwide" campaign, and start a fax campaign too. We the People of the United States and the World demand that the use of LFAS stop. The goal now is to send out 2,000,000 emails this week. I will post additional fax numbers on the site as they are collected. http://www.dreamweaving.com/lfas.htm and follow links to the message board. Ultimately the ONLY person who can Stop the use of LFAS by the US Navy is you Mr. President of the United States.
HOLLYWOOD LISTEN UP! VIOLATIONS OF THE E.A. AGREEMENTS: This does not mean that the LFAS issue is over, it does mean that in Hawai'i there is sufficient evidence that the "soft" Phase III testing may be considered by the courts to be in violation of the Environmental Assessment agreements. We certainly hope so. We anticipate that the Navy will deny all the evidence and use further delay tactics. So your written protest makes a BIG difference and will save more whales. Follow the leads below for emailing the right people. By "soft" I mean that there is a statement by the Navy scientist Dr. Clark, that they are not using the full power of the LFAS transducers. According to David A. Tarnas, State House of Representatives, Chair of the Ocean Recreation and Marine Resources Committee, "Dr. Clark also wanted to emphasize that the Mediterranean activity was a full test of the sonar system and not a research study. There were no precautions taken and the full spectrum of the sonar was used." As we have factual evidence that the Navy is detrimentally affecting our sea life with 155 dB levels imagine what would happen at 215 dB. And remember the sound intensity doubles every 3dB increase. More evidence to stop the LFAS not only here in Hawai'i but worldwide.
STOP USING LFAS WORLDWIDE I have signed an affidavit confirming my witnessing of the rare Cuvier beaked whales recently. We will post the other affidavits when they are completed. See how POWERFUL our observations can be? I just thought at the time this is interesting and many threads have come from it. To Lanny and Rose it was just the type of factual information they needed. So PLEASE post ANY cetacean/sealife observations on the message board not only from the Hawaiian waters but worldwide. Every statement on this makes a difference.
NOW TO THE BODY OF THIS E-MAIL: I just grabbed this from the LFAS message board. It was prepared by Mary Rose and Lanny Sinkin. Give them a big thanks for preparing such a powerful statement and taking it to the courts Emailto:email@example.com. (In process as I write). Yesterday 3/17/98 the following letter was faxed today to the Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton (fax number (703) 614-3477). A similar letter was faxed to Gene Nitta, National Marine Fishery Service, Honolulu; Ann Terbush/Art Jeffers, Office of Protected Species, National Marine Fishery Service (301) 713-0376; and President William Jefferson Clinton (202) 456-2461. Prepared by: Mary Rose and Lanny Sinkin, Light Worker Center, 58 Furneaux Lane, Suite 5 Hilo, Hawaii 96720 fax number (808) 934-9609 Emailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
March 17, 1998 The Honorable John H. Dalton Secretary of the Navy FAX: (703)
614-3477 Dear Secretary Dalton,
We call upon you to suspend, immediately and for an indefinite duration, any further activity pursuant to Permit No. 875-1401 as amended on February 12, 1998. Under this permit, the United States Navy is now broadcasting loud, low frequency sounds into the waters off the west coast of the Island of Hawai'i. The facts set forth below and their cumulative impact both warrant the requested suspension.
1. Permit application amendment not in good faith. The National Marine Fishery Service granted the permit application based on a finding that the amendment was "applied for in good faith." Federal Register, Vol. 63, No. 34, Friday, February 20, 1998 at 8613. Contrary to this finding, the United States Navy did not inform the National Marine Fishery Service at the time of the application that a monitoring study of the impacts on marine life of similar tests conducted off Greece and the Canary Islands had resulted in the stranding and deaths of an unusual number of whales. Off Greece, the strandings also took place in an unusual pattern -- separated individuals rather than a group stranding. Nature, March 5, 1998. The failure of the United States Navy to inform the National Marine Fishery Service of these research findings demonstrates an absence of good faith in the permit application.
2. Violations of Permit during implementation. The permit for Phase III states: "6. Source transmissions shall be suspended immediately if an acute behavioral response (e.g. repeated/prolonged activity (vocalizations, breaching, blowing, time on surface, etc.), potential injurious activity, abnormal number of animals present or absent in the area, abnormal mother-calf activity, or erratic swimming behavior of pinnipeds, small cetaceans, or sea turtles) by a marine mammal or sea turtle is detected."
A. Contrary to the requirements of paragraph 6 quoted above, the transmissions were not suspended when observers on the west coast of Hawai'i, using a telescope, observed a baby hump back whale breaching more than 200 times over a period of five hours. At no time during those five hours was the mother whale present. A baby hump back whale breaching more than 200 times in a five hour period is "an acute behavioral response" under the terms of the permit. The absence of the mother whale over a five hour period constituted "abnormal mother-calf activity" under the terms of the permit. The Ocean Mammal Institute provided the observer team. The National Marine Fishery Service received notice of these observations. Either the Institute or other individuals reported the observations to the National Marine Fishery Service in Washington, D.C. and Honolulu. For confirmation, contact: Ocean Mammal Institute, (808) 889-0598. Similarly, in the first week of March a commercial fisherman observed a baby hump back whale staying on the surface for a prolonged period of time, the first such observation by the captain in 15 years of fishing. For confirmation, contact: Wayne Leslie, (808) 328-9242.
B. On March 12, dolphins in Honokohau Harbor and the South Side of Hoona Bay appeared to be dangerously close to the shore, clustering in a tight defensive posture on the surface and exhibiting constant and extreme vocalization. This behavior coincided with the broadcasting of the LFA tests. The reported behavior also fits the "erratic swimming behavior of ... small cetaceans" and "repeated/prolonged activity (vocalizations ... time on surface)" criteria of paragraph 6 quoted above. This bay is a customary resting area for various dolphin pods. For confirmation, contact: Chris Reed, (808) 328-8672.
C. There are various reports of abnormal number of animals present.
1. During the first week of March, a captain of a whale watching vessel reported seeing up to fifteen hammerhead sharks located off the old airport approximately 1/2 mile from the old Kona pier. The captain found this citing unusual enough to report. For confirmation, contact: Captain Mike Yee, (808) 329-6824
2. In an aerial census survey on March 12 by the Ocean Mammal Institute, an extraordinary number of whales were seen on the east coast of Hawai'i. For confirmation, contact: Ocean Mammal Institute, (800) 226-8216.
3. Cuvier beaked whales, rarely seen off Hawaii, were seen off the west coast in the vicinity of the United States Navy broadcasting vessel. For confirmation, contact: Benedick Howard, (800) 331-2077.
4. Orcas, rarely seen off Hawai'i, were seen off the west coast. For confirmation, contact: Captain James Dean, (808) 325-5920.
5. On Sunday, March 15, a manta ray appeared and breached twice in Hilo Bay. We personally witnessed this event. We have visited the same spot three or four times a week for four years and never seen a manta ray there.
D. There are reports of abnormal number of animals absent.
1. An aerial census survey found far fewer whales on the west side of the island then normal. For confirmation, contact: Ocean Mammal Institute, (800) 226-8216. Similarly, a boat captain, scuba trainer, and photographer/writer covering whales reports that the number of whales seen off the west coast of Hawai'i during the testing period is approximately ten percent (10%) of what she has seen in past years. For confirmation, contact: Cat Sweeny, (808) 326-1871.
2.Similarly, in the first week of March, Captain Chuck Leslie, commercial boat captain for 42 years, did not see a single whale while opelu fishing between 6:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. within the coastal area (shoreline to horizon). Captain Leslie reports this absence over such a prolonged period to be the first such absence during whale season in his 42 years of fishing the coast line. For confirmation, contact: Captain Chuck Leslie, (808) 328-8738.
3. Related concerns supporting suspension of the permit. In November 1998, representatives of the United States Navy and the Scientific Research Program met with representatives from State agencies to discuss state permit requirements for Phase III implementation of the permit. As a result of that meeting, the United States Navy agreed to various conditions. An "LFA Fact Sheet" issued by the Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) contains those conditions.
A. Ocean Mammal Institute. The DLNR fact sheet states: "The targeted animals will also be observed from two shore stations ...." "The Scientific Research Program has also agreed to assist the Ocean Mammal Institute, a local non-governmental organization, in conducting its own shore- based observation program of the whales during the time of the experiments." The Ocean Mammal Institute is the organization which reported the distress behavior of the baby hump back whale and the absence of the whale mother set forth in Item
2.A above. Having identified the Institute as a competent organization to conduct such observations, the United States Navy then refused to acknowledge the validity of such an observation and immediately suspend the tests, as the permit would require. B. Warnings. The DLNR fact sheet states: "Humans swimming, snorkeling or diving within 5 miles of the shore should not be exposed to sound intensity levels greater than 120-130dB. ... The Navy has provided warnings on the Internet and to local dive shops, dive clubs, and diving organizations about the potential of humans hearing strange sounds in nearshore waters.
B. Warnings. The DLNR fact sheet states:
"Humans swimming, snorkeling or diving within 5 miles of the shore should not be exposed to sound intensity levels greater than 120-130dB. ... The Navy has provided warnings on the Internet and to local dive shops, dive clubs, and diving organizations about the potential of humans hearing strange sounds in nearshore waters (5 mi) during the time of the testing."
We have personally spoken with a dive shop operator in the Kawaihae area who stated that he had received no advance notice of any kind, let alone a warning, regarding the tests. Local volunteers, not associated with the tests, copied the United States Navy Internet warning, added related material, and delivered a package to dive shops and other potentially affected businesses and individuals. For confirmation, contact: Chris Reed - 808-328-8672.
Other than one chaotic public presentation on February 7, we are unaware of any effort on the part of the United States Navy to inform and/or warn the public about the tests and their potential for causing harm. The failure to inform/warn demonstrates an irresponsible attitude on the part of the permittee, supporting the suspension of the permit.
C. Medical researchers. The DLNR fact sheet states:
"The Navy has also sent two medical researchers to the Big Island to provide additional information to the diving community and the public about the possible effects to humans."
As people involved heavily in this controversy for the past month, we have not spoken with anyone aware of the presence of these two individuals or any presentation of additional information on possible effects to humans by such individuals.
Sonar testing can cause nausea, headaches, earaches, chest pains, dizziness and disorientation to humans. We do have reports of citizens experiencing these symptoms during the testing. For confirmation, contact: Joy Gardner-Gordon - 808-889-0040.
The absence of the medical researchers and/or any monitoring of possible adverse effects on humans demonstrates irresponsibility on the part of the permittee, supporting the suspension of the permit.
The above information is more than adequate to form a basis for suspending the tests immediately. We call upon you to do so within 24 hours after receipt of this fax. This fax is sent at 12:23 p.m. (Hawai'i Time) on Tuesday, March 17."
So there we have it for now and its now up to you:
Please email your protest to the links below and then copy this email to others and keep the wave moving far and wide around the planet. When forwarding to others please copy this entire document without making any changes.
When emailing the following please put "Factual Evidence: Stop using LFAS, Stop Using LFAS Worldwide" in subject header.
In the event that not all addresses are underlined highlight them all, copy and paste to your email program
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