SAN FRANCISCO - May 10 - The federal agency that oversees offshore drilling is finally going to analyze the effects that intense, underwater seismic blasts have on whales and dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico. In a notice published today, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced that it will evaluate the effects of seismic surveys used to detect oil under the seabed in an environmental impact statement.
“Whales and dolphins in the Gulf depend on sound for communication and finding food, but these blasts — sometimes as loud as an explosion — make it all but impossible,” said Miyoko Sakashita, oceans director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “I’m happy that the government is finally scrutinizing these underwater sound explosions, but it shouldn’t stop there. We simply have to do whatever’s needed to protect the Gulf’s sensitive wildlife.”