This summer Royal Dutch Shell is planned to begin exploratory drilling in the US arctic which will harm and harass a great deal of the Arctic wildlife. After speaking with Shell, The Guardian explained, “Shell estimates its Arctic activities will expose more than 2,500 bowhead whales, more than 2,500 gray whales and more than 50,000 ringed seals to continuous sounds and pulsed sounds, deemed damaging enough to constitute harassment.”
What rises the biggest concern for scientists and activists of the Arctic is the fact that the Bowhead Whale population has already been steadily declining over the past several years, and this summer they will be affecting over 2,500 more whales. Although the harassment of the whales and other Arctic animals the Marine Mammal Protection Act states that ‘The government may allow for the taking or harassment of marine mammals, so long as the number taken is small and the impact on the species is negligible.’
As this drilling happens, the main concern is the noise that will be caused which harms the mammals hearing and can cause whales to go deaf. Whales use vibration to essentially live, the study by Ocean stated, “A deaf whale, is a dead whale.”
Not only are Whales going to be suffering, but also 50,000 gray seals are at risk for harassment and other problems. These seals will be pushed to other waters which they have yet to venture to resulting in death and other predators.
Also explained is how the Royal Dutch was given permission to drill, “On 11 May, the Obama administration gave the effective go-ahead when the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management approved Shell’s exploration plan for the Chukchi Sea. Environmental groups described the move as reckless, and one that would likely lead to ecological disaster.”
For more Arctic news and updates, please visit Dr. Larry Mayer’s Official Website.