The groups’ attorney, Steve Mashuda with Earthjustice, says another concern is the effects of sonar on endangered orcas or Southern Resident killer whales that spend part of their year in the Puget Sound area.
“There’s only 89 of these whales left. The Fisheries Service has said in other contexts that losing just one reproductive-aged member of this population would likely jeopardize its continued existence.”
The lawsuit targets the National Marine Fisheries Service as the agency that issued the permits in 2010. In a five-year period, they allow 650,000 “takes” of marine life during the training exercises. A “take” is a casualty, including injury or death.
The Northwest Training Range Complex includes the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.
More information is at www.earthjustice.org