A little bit of knowledge…

is a dangerous thing.

The Eco-friendly are once again assuming that sonar kills dolphins. Except this time, it doesn’t kill them, it “scares them” into running up a river and beaching themselves.

Campaigners say post-mortem examinations showed that the animals appeared healthy and their stomachs were empty, indicating they were scared into heading up the river.

“They weren’t coming up the river system to fish, which leads us to suspect that they were frightened up the river system,” said Sarah Dolman, a science officer with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society.

Dolman said there were no documented cases linking a mass stranding to side-scan sonar — which are directed downward toward the ocean floor, unlike mid-frequency active sonar, which are directed outward into the water.

However, “we’re learning more all the time and it’s still a possibility,” she said.

Anyone, and I mean ANYONE, who has ever been on a submarine on the surface going active knows that dolphins are NOT SCARED OF ACTIVE SONAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! for the love of God and all that is holy. I’ve been out at sea and had absolutely no dolphins around. As soon as we start going active for training we have to stop because they show up. By all appearances, I’d say that dolphins like sonar because it sounds like they sound, so they show up to check it out. Sonar operating on the same frequency won’t make them deaf either.

Rodney Coates, an expert on underwater acoustics, said the sonar could well have hurt the dolphins, who use similar frequencies to locate their prey. Coates said that if the dolphins’ hearing was affected, they were doomed.

“Sound is to the dolphin what sight is to you,” Coates said. “A deaf dolphin will be a dead dolphin, it’s only a question of time.”

If you were to extrapolate this to humans, you could say that someone talking extremely loudly could make you deaf. Well, I guess there’s some truth to that, but if someone’s yelling at you, you… you know…walk away. The beauty of it is, as you walk away, the sound level goes down. Funny how that works. Apparently, in the world of “save the mammals”, loud sounds go one at ear-crushing levels for miles and miles and miles.

Anyone who’s ever tried to use sonar to find something can tell you that attenuation is much greater than what the eco-friendly seem to understand. Take a look at a sound-velocity profile for pretty much anywhere in the ocean, and then explain to me how sonar pointed at the ocean bottom, performing high frequency (spoken high attenuation/short-range) side scan sonar ops, is even getting to the surface in a manner that would allow it to propagate at crushing decibels for miles. Short answer…it won’t.

These people drive me nuts. But hey, it makes my job easier. If the surface fleet can’t train, they can’t find me in my submarine. As long as the enemy doesn’t have subs, there’s nothing to worry about right?

Oh yeah. Shit.

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