Sonars may be causing some whales to become suicidal

For story suggestions or custom animation requests, contact [email protected] Visit http://archive.nextanimationstudio.com to view News Direct's complete archive of 3D news animations.

RESTRICTIONS: Broadcast: NO USE JAPAN, NO USE TAIWAN Digital: NO USE JAPAN, NO USE TAIWAN
A new report suggests that whale's suicidal behavior may be linked to sonar waves.

Sonar waves cause major distress for underwater mammals. They are thought to scare them away, but a new report suggests that the effects are deadly.

The report suggests suicidal behavior in some beaked whales is linked to exposure to sonar waves.

Cuvier's beaked whales are deep divers with bodies capable of withstanding changing pressure. Their metabolism slows down to save oxygen and their organs adapt to avoid decompression sickness.

However, according to a report published in the Royal Society Proceedings B Journal, when the whales come into contact with sonar waves emitted by naval patrols, they quickly swim away in fear and confusion.

Nitrogen gas bubbles then accumulate in the whales' veins, causing brain hemorrhages and damage to their organs and nervous system, including their spinal cord. This unnatural, quick change in their diving pattern makes the animal accumulate nitrogen.

Beaked whales normally dive over 1,000 meters deep for one hour, but when exposed to sonar waves they swim for over two hours at depths of around 3,000 meters.

Once disoriented and hurt they tend to beach in nearby coasts. In 2003 a paper pointing out the possible link between sonar and whale deaths led to a 2004 ban on naval exercises around the Canary Islands.

Scientists behind the report have an idea for a solution. They suggest placing more moratoriums on mid-frequency sonar activity in regions where large groups of beached whales frequently appear.

RUNDOWN SHOWS:
1. Cuvier's beaked whales swimming in the ocean
2. Cuvier's beaked whales frightened and confused swimming away from the sonar waves
3. Effect of decompression sickness and accumulation of nitrogen in whales' bodies
4. Cuvier's beaked whales become stranded and beaching

VOICEOVER (in English):

"Cuvier's beaked whales are deep divers with bodies capable of withstanding changing pressure."

"Their metabolism slows down to save oxygen and their organs adapt to avoid decompression sickness."

"However, according to a report published in the Royal Society Proceedings B Journal, when the whales come into contact with sonar waves emitted by naval patrols, they quickly swim away in fear and confusion."

"Nitrogen gas bubbles then accumulate in the whales' veins, causing brain hemorrhages and damage to their organs and nervous system, including their spinal cord."

"This unnatural, quick change in their diving pattern makes the animal accumulate nitrogen."

"Beaked whales normally dive over 1,000 meters deep for one hour, but when exposed to sonar waves they swim for over two hours at depths of around 3,000 meters."

"Once disoriented and hurt they tend to beach in nearby coasts."


SOURCES:
Agence France Presse, Royal Society Proceedings B Journal
https://www.afp.com/en/news/826/some-whales-sonar-may-provoke-suicidal-behaviour-study-doc-1ct6fy4
https://royalsocietypublishing.org/journal/rspb