How whales and dolphins may be harmed by new seismic airgun approval
Conservationists are particularly worried about the North Atlantic right whale, a species verging on extinction.
Five oil and gas companies have been given the green light to use seismic airgun blasts to search for lucrative oil and gas deposits that could be buried in the sea floor from New Jersey to Florida.
The proposal was shot down by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in 2017 after it was deemed unsafe for marine life, but a recent review by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) concluded the blasts could be done without significantly threatening the population status of threatened or endangered species. The basis of NOAA's investigation was to determine whether or not the activity would violate the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
Large marine mammals like whales and dolphin use sound