Regulations issued at Keyport to protect marine mammals

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Services has issued regulations to the U.S. Navy that includes measures to protect marine mammals while conducting research, development, test and evaluation activities at the Naval Sea System Command Undersea Warfare Center Keyport Range Complex, according to a statement.

The Navy’s activities at Keyport are different from the training activities addressed in other Navy rules because the active sonar and acoustic sources are lower in volume than those used in training activities.

The measures the Navy must follow include establishing marine mammal safety zones around vessels using sonar and using Navy marine observers to spot animals so that operations can shut down if they are seen within designated safety zones. The Fisheries Services does not expect the Navy’s activities to result in marine mammal injuries.

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