NATO’s Naval Exercises Massacre Whales in Crete



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The photo that the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki published, depicting stranded whales along the south-east shores of Crete has brought forth a great deal of concern.  According to the local environmental organizations, a NATO naval exercise is most likely responsible for this incident.

In particular, this naval exercise is named Operation Noble Dina and is ongoing in the area, involving US, Greek and Israeli forces.

One of the ongoing areas of contention between environmental advocates and the US Navy and federal regulators is whether sonar training (and naval live-fire and explosion exercises creating loud and potentially harmful noise) should be planned to avoid areas with known concentrations of marine mammals, especially those, such as beaked whales, known to be sensitive to noise.  As it turns out, the area of this stranding is one of a large number of areas recommended as Areas of Special Concern for beaked whales by that the Scientific Committee of ACCOBAMS (Agreement for the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black and Mediterranean Seas, a consortium of governments in the region).  As reported by a long-time chair of the Scientific Committee, the recommendation fell on deaf ears when presented to the full ACCOBAMS meeting of the parties last year; military preparedness was the explicit reason for the rejection.

For Greece, none of this is new.  In 1996 and again in 1997, dozens of beaked whales of the same species turned up along the Peloponnesian coast; in 2011, they were stranded on the island of Corfu as well as the east coast of Italy, across the Ionian Sea.  In each case, navies were training with high-powered sonar in the area.  Indeed, according to the Smithsonian Institution and International Whaling Commission, every beaked whale mass stranding on record everywhere in the world has occurred with naval activities, usually sonar, taking place in the vicinity.

Now experts are despairing that with many consecutive strandings, the region’s beaked whale populations are being decimated.


8 COMMENTS

  1. Golden Dawn has stated that if they are elected to govern Greece they will ban the US navy from using the deep water naval facility at Souda bay in Crete, and they will offer Souda bay as a Naval base for the Russian Navy instead. Souda bay currently serves as the main headquarters for the US 6th fleet in the Eastern Mediterranean. The loss of Souda bay will greatly reduce the US military presence in the Eastern Mediterranean.

  2. Golden Dawn has not actually stated that they have any intent of withdrawing from NATO so this is unlikely to occur.
    As Greek-Russian military ties deepen under a Golden Dawn government the US government will demand that Greece be excluded from key NATO training exercises, and from NATO strategic planning. At the same time the USA will flood Turkey with weapons and give Turkey the “green light” to go to war against Greece. Greece however will have the material backing of Russia (armaments and intelligence) in such a conflict, and will be able to contain any US supported Turkish military threat.
    Allegations are being made on Greek TV that Golden Dawn is in communication with Russian state security services with President Putin’s blessing. None of this is verified, but it’s clear that it would be a major strategic victory for Putin if he managed to get Greece to withdraw or get ejected from NATO and into a military alliance with Russia. Nothing happens by chance.

  3. what’s with your obsession over Russa?

    1) Russia and Putin hate n-zi filth like yourself
    2) why not keep the naval base for Greece?

  4. Think about what you just said. And you are correct on one part- the search for MH370 is indeed a whale massacre. What made you think it wasn’t? These whales can’t tolerate the sound of an A bomb and that is the decibel range we are talking about. On FB: stop navy sonar testing

  5. I have worked near Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor Naval base close to a national marine sanctuary. Lots of active pinging from Naval and commercial vessels but no dead whales. Strange huh??? In fact whale watching tourism industry in Hawaii is booming, therefore you need to rethink what frequency and amplitude is most harmful to marine mammals otherwise your point is purely subjective.

  6. Sonar and seismic testing are both broadband so both kill whales and most marine life right down to the plankton. Especially hard to document because whales rarely beach or wash ashore they mainly sink and are never seen. Your arguments are the same tired ones i have to deal with constantly. The evidence is clear and conclusive and there’s tons of it. Maybe you forgot what happened when you were a kid and went underwater and clicked 2 rocks together in the pool. Sonar is over 215 db- seismic tests 257db louder than the a bombs used on the pacific atolls. Whales do everything by hearing- mate, and everything. Also the greatest deaths are caused by interruption of parent-calf bonding and disruption of migratory patterns. SONAR KILLS. It can even kill swimmers and divers and has been implicated in the death of a mother in san diego when it shut off her pacemaker and disrupted garage door openers in the area.

    On FB:

    stop the diablo canyon seismic testing

    stop navy sonar testing

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