Subject: Info: Groups allege Navy killed right (fwd)

Michael Williamson (
Mon, 18 Mar 1996 10:57:30 -0500 (EST)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 14 Mar 96 12:11:00 UTC 0000
Subject: Groups allege Navy killed righ

Groups allege Navy killed right whales

   BOSTON, March 13 (UPI) -- Animal rights groups are asking the Navy to
either move their war games away from a critical habitate for the
endangered northern right whales off Florida and Georgia, or delay them
until the whales leave the area in April.
   The International Wildlife Coalition and the Humane Society of the
United States said Wednesday the Navy may have killed as many as five of
the world's 300 or so remaining right whales during recent exercises.
   The Navy so far has refused responsibility for the deaths, said David
Wiley, senior scientist for the Massachusetts-based coalition.
   Navy spokesman Cmdr. Stephen Pietropaoli told The Boston Globe
Wednesday it is "unfortunate and premature to be making allegations
that the Navy is somehow responsible."
   Wiley said, however, that the five or six right whales killed in
calving grounds were concurrent with gunnery practice and the use of
bombs during Naval operations off Florida and Georgia.
   Wiley said tests indicate at least some of the deaths may be due to
concussion from underwater explosions, while others were likely due to
ship strikes.
   "You would have to ignore an awful lot of information to absolve the
Navy of any responsibility," Wiley said.
   "The coincidence of death with Navy exercises is truly alarming,"
said Sharon Young of the Humane Society of the United States.
   The two groups called on the Navy to immediately cease all activities
until the right whales leave the area in early April. Pietropaoli said
the Navy planned to go ahead with planned NATO exercises later this
   The northern right whale is the most critically endangered species of
large whale, and is protected under the Endangered Species Act.