New video campaign launched against Navy sonar, explosives training

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by Mike Gooding, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on February 20, 2014 at 6:57 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 20 at 8:35 PM

NORFOLK -- The actor who played James Bond in the movies is taking on the United States Navy over sonar usage and explosives testing, and the impact those practices are having on marine animals.

The film is made in conjunction with the Natural Resources Defense Council and SaveWhalesNow.org. It attacks Navy testing on the East Coast, the Gulf of Mexico, Hawaii and California, and calls for the service to make " modest changes" to its testing plans.

Says Pierce Brosnan: "The Navy itself predicts that nearly 1,000 whales and other marine mammals could be killed. thousands more could be deafened. And in the a darkened sea, a deaf whale is a dead whale."

Sonar is, of course, used by submarines to detect enemies in the seas, through the emitting of sound pulses. Fleet Forces Command says the service has six decades of experience working with sonar technology, that it constantly monitors the impact on the maritime environment, and that the Navy cares greatly about sea life and takes its responsibility as environmental stewards seriously.

"We're not having an effect where the animals are not able to live the life that they need to live and be able to thrive in their environment," said Jene Nissen, project manager for the Atlantic Fleet Training and Testing environmental study. "We do monitor, we go out and do surveys for marine mammals. We do put scientists aboard our ships and airplanes during certain training events and we just don't see a significant impact that is impacting the population or the stocks of the animals."

Nissen added that the training is vital to national defense and crew safety. "It's critical that we train the sailors so they're fully prepared when we send them overseas in harm's way," he said.

WATCH: Emotional plea from Brosnan and NRDC

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