As the coronavirus tragedy continues to unfold across the world, there are a few silver linings. Reduced business has had a positive effect on wild animals and the natural environment. Reduced shipping traffic has shut down the noisy highways dolphins and whales are forced to live in, allowing them to lead more natural lives. We must protect this vital peace and quiet as human lives return to normal. Urge the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to protect the peace: strengthen noise pollution regulations to help dolphins, whales, and all marine life!
Whales, dolphins and other animals have been forced to live on increasingly noisy and more deadly ocean highways for years. Cargo ships race across the oceans and some animals can’t get out the way fast enough. Many whales suffer ship strikes and die as a result.
But as the world slowed down, so too did shipping traffic, which normally tends to dominate the soundscape of the world's oceans. Now, the oceans are quieter and safer for whales and dolphins than they have been in decades.
This is great news for dolphins and whales, since sound pollution prevents their ability to communicate, particularly the long-distance communications used largely by whales. Essentially, noise pollution plunges whales into social isolation.
Cetaceans live in acoustic worlds and are primarily reliant upon hearing. They deserve the right to live in their natural habitat in peace, rather than isolated confusion caused by deafening ships.
Scientists are scrambling to study this once-in-a-lifetime event caused by the pandemic, with some anticipating that whales may now have the opportunity to share more frequent, and complex, conversations.
Whales should always have the opportunity to communicate. We urgently need stricter regulations on shipping and boating within all U.S. territorial waters to make this peaceful waters a permanent reality for ocean-dwelling animals!
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) currently has some speed restrictions for larger vessels in certain locations. The animals need these regulations to be applied throughout all U.S. exclusive economic zones. Dolphins and whales also need to stop being harassed and harmed by smaller vessels which should leave cetaceans in peace by maintaining a distance of at least 500 feet away at all times.
Please contact Donna Wieting, Director of NOAA’s Office of Protected Resources to request she protect dolphins and whales through stricter regulations on shipping and boating activity within U.S. territorial waters to reduce noise pollution that harms ocean-dwelling animals.
1. Call Donna Wieting, Director of NOAA's Office of Protected Resources at (301) 427-8400.
Politely say to the NOAA representative:
This pandemic has shown us what life could be like for animals living in your jurisdiction. I urge you to grant dolphins and whales the peaceful lives they deserve. Please follow In Defense of Animals recommendations to expand minimum distance from whales and dolphins for all vessels to 500 feet, and reduce travel speeds for vessels over 65 feet to 10 knots throughout all U.S. exclusive economic zones.
2. Tweet @NOAAFisheries using part of the script above.
3. Send our letter to Donna Wieting Director of NOAA's Office of Protected Resources by filling out the form on this page.
Make the pandemic peace last for dolphins and whales by strengthening noise pollution regulations
Dear [Decision Maker],
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]
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