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US Set To Attack European Whales

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US SET TO ATTACK EUROPE! -for immediate release!-

The United States, through the US NAVY, is set to attack Europe in and around the territorial waters of the Azores Islands, which are part of PORTUGAL.

Information, uncovered by the SeaShepherd Conservation Society, reveals that the US NAVY has completed preparations to aktivate LOW FREQUENCY ACTIVE SONAR (LFAS) inside European Territorial Waters.

Portugal, presiding the European Union at the moment, has an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 200 nautical miles around the Azores Islands.

LFAS transmissions are endangering all marine liveforms will disrupt tourism to the nine paradise islands and attack the live and lifelihood of at least the 250.000 people of the Azores as well as local fishermen. The larger marine mammals like the whales, which support significant and famous whale-watching activities around the islands, would be immediately affected.

ECOTERRA Intl., through ECOTERRA Europe, announced today the launch of massive resistance against any LFAS attempts affecting (even from outside the 200 nm EEZ) the waters of the European Union, its people and its natural environment. "This is a US military attack against Europe!" - "and this shows again the double standard of the US, who is not even a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity, that such attacks shall be launched outside the US, because US courts already stopped the US Navy LFAS in US waters."

ECOTERRA EUROPE demands an immediate explanation from the EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT and intervention to STOP THE US NAVY.

We will keep you informed

ECOTERRA Intl . European Nodes

Lisboa, Paris, Cassel, Graz, London

Background Info:

NAVY MISLED COURT IN SONAR CASE

Preparations to test controversial system on whales reported underway in Azores

In interviews with residents of the Azores, Sea Shepherd International has learned that US Navy scientists have been holding meetings there to discuss testing of the controversial Low-Frequency Active Sonar (LFAS) system in the island group, a thousand miles west of Portugal. Two years ago, USN attorneys persuaded a federal judge to dismiss a legal challenge to the tests on the grounds that research had been completed and no further tests were planned. The LFAS system has triggered a storm of environmental protest based upon mounting evidence that it causes severe stress in whales and other marine mammals. LFAS broadcasts been implicated in mass strandings.

The Sea Shepherd International vessel Ocean Warrior arrived in the harbor of Horta in the Azores on May 17. "We spent two days interviewing residents and investigating reports that the US Naval researchers were preparing

another LFAS test in the Azores," said Captain Paul Watson, Sea Shepherd president. "We were told that Dr. Peter Tyack, one of the scientists who led the LFAS research team in 1998, and Dr. Jonathan Gordon are conducting

preliminary research on the effects of low-frequency broadcasts off the island of Terceira, and attaching acoustic tags to sperm whales. The Office of Naval Research has confirmed plans to begin LFAS testing in the Azores this summer, with high-intensity broadcasts delivering sound up to 155 dB to targeted sperm whales."

Three previous LFAS sea tests conducted off the coast of California and Hawaii in 1997-98. They produced law suits, protests, and a public outcry over the threat the LFAS systems represent to marine life. Opponents of deployment accused the Navy and the National Marine Fisheries Service of deliberately ignoring evidence demonstrating that threat.

Sea Shepherd is a co-plaintiff with Hawaii County Green Party and nine other environmental and cultural groups in a lawsuit filed last February to halt the Navy's preparations to deploy the system.

"At 155 dB, the Navy would be impacting whales with sound far louder than the received levels which caused whales to flee the test area off Hawai`i during the Phase III testing in 1998," said Lanny Sinkin, attorney for the plaintiffs. "The Navy illegally spent hundreds of millions of dollars on this system without completing an Environmental Impact Statement. It now appearst that they misled the court when they told a federal judge that research was complete and no further testing would take place. Based on that representation, the judge dismissed as moot a law suit challenging the safety of the testing. I have now asked the judge to reopen the 1998 case and consolidate that case with the suit filed this past February."

LFAS transmissions were implicated in the mass stranding death of beaked whales on the coast of Greece in 1996. Last March, 14 whales from four

different species beached themselves in the Bahamas on the same day a joint US/UK naval exercise was conducting sea tests of another high-intensity sonar system in the area.

"The Navy is planning full deployment of the LFAS system in every ocean on Earth at levels in excess of 200 decibels, an intensity of low-frequency sound practically guaranteed to produce disastrous results," said Watson. "From what we learned in the Azores, it's clear that the Navy has as much regard for what they tell a federal judge as they do for scientific data and environmental laws."

The Ocean Warrior is en route to the Netherlands, where it will prepare for a campaign against the mass slaughter of small cetaceans in the Faroe Islands this summer.

KEEP THE PRESSURE ON NAVAL SONAR

The Navy is on the defensive. High-intensity sonar is now one of the most controversial environmental issues in the world.

NOW: EUROPEAN representatives need you to update them! Get them this information! Tell them that the US Navy should not be allowed - especially not in Europe - to conduct any further tests of the LFAS nor be allowed to deploy the LFAS systems until the environmental impact statement is complete and all litigation produced by the EIS process is resolved.

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ECOTERRA Intl. www.ecoterra.net


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