Virginia Aquarium joins others in opposing new rules on ocean sound blasting

Environmentalists and some scientists say the use of seismic air guns in undersea oil and gas exploration can harm and even kill whales, dolphins, turtles, and "larval krill" a main food source for whales (Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of Oceana)
Environmentalists and some scientists say the use of seismic air guns in undersea oil and gas exploration can harm and even kill whales, dolphins, turtles, and “larval krill” a main food source for whales (Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of Oceana)

A group of aquariums says it’s opposed to seismic blasting along the East Coast as part of efforts to extract offshore oil and gas.

That includes the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach.

The six aquariums are all on the East Coast, and they say they oppose the recent affirmation of sound blasting from Delaware to Florida by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The aquariums say they’re worried noise pollution caused by the blasting could harm marine life, all the way from microorganisms to giant whales. They also fear disruption of valuable commercial fish.

The participating aquariums are the New England Aquarium in Boston, National Aquarium in Baltimore, the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut, the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, the North Carolina Aquariums and the New York Aquarium and its parent Wildlife Conservation Society.

RELATED STORY: Offshore oil exploration: Can the average citizen make a difference?

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John Mangalonzo (john@localvoicemedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.