Saturday, July 12, 2014

Seismic Testing to Split the Mind of Countless Mammals off New Jersey

Greetings everyone. This is a whale/dolphin blog that needs to be typed despite these animals not being a part of Operation Bleeding Seas II. Today I come with alarming news from New Jersey. The federal government, yes, the United States Federal Government that is only looking out for your best interest and wants you to be as free as a bird in the sky, has given approval for seismic testing off the coast of New Jersey. What does that mean? Well Rutgers University will be leading the 30 day test that involves a ship blasting waves from a boat down to the bottom of the ocean. How it works is a massive airguns blast massive sound waves roughly 100,000 times as intense as a jet engine. These sound waves are used to help discover oil and gas below the bottom of the ocean. The blasting will tell officials if potential offshore drilling could be a possibility in New Jersey.

So what will the impacts be if these tests are allowed to go through? For one, we would be looking at the devastation of marine life and habitats anywhere remotely near where the blasts are set up (off of Long Beach Island from what I understand). Dolphins and whales rely largely on hearing for hunting and the blasts can easily deafen these animals for life, making it incredibly hard for them to hunt. The blasts can also cause marine mammals to beach themselves and even die. Habitat abandonment is another thing that is sure to happen should these tests take place. If these tests take place it is estimated that 138,500 whales and dolphins will be injured or killed. Included in those numbers are 9 North Atlantic Right Whale. This species of whale is critically endangered with 361 known individuals remaining. Those are just some of the potential impacts on marine mammals. Fish also face a real danger from these blasts.

The seismic blasts will kill millions and millions of fish eggs and young fish. They will also lead to fish abandoning their habitats which in New Jersey includes rock formations, ship wrecks, etc. The end result is locally destroyed fish populations and ultimately declines in fishing industries along the coast as the fish will simply move elsewhere to avoid the blasts. The effects of these blasts will be felt far and wide, so to think that fish populations in Northern New Jersey are safe because the blasts will be south is extremely foolish. Places where this testing has been done in the past have seen numerous dead dolphins and whales washing up on their beaches with blood coming from their eyes and ears as a result of the blasts. Those same areas saw both their recreational and commercial fishing catches plummet from 40-80% of the normal. The blasts will also hamper sea turtle nesting and mating as well as various migration routes for sharks, turtles, marine mammals, and fish.

President Obama and his cronies have given the green light for this testing to begin. In an attempt to reverse the fate of countless marine mammals, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and several local conservation groups have issued a lawsuit against the plan. It is now New Jersey vs the Feds. Causes for the lawsuit include the effects that the tests will most likely have on the marine life, fishing industry, and potentially even the tourism industry. The threats from these tests are very real as seen in Peru where beaches became littered with dolphins soon after tests began...

All of this for oil? Not a big surprise, but at the same time... How can anyone be okay with blowing out the eardrums of these animals for something just about anyone I know never wants to see in New Jersey. Offshore oil drilling. Those three words. We've obviously seen what can happen with these drilling stations with what happened during the BP oil spill a few years ago. The gulf is still not the same since that spill. We do not want oil industries to be drilling off our shore. We do not want our beaches littered with dolphins and whales who've been killed in the search for oil. We want our oceans to remain healthy, and for once, I don't think any recreational or commercial fishermen would disagree with that statement and apparently neither does the state government of New Jersey. President Obama and Rutgers University read the following message from the animals you plan on destroying for greed.

The seismic testing was scheduled to start sometime this month, but that date is currently unknown with the Christie Administration attempting to block the whole project.

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