[MARMAM] Seabird and Dolphin Mortality Associated with Underwater Detonation Exercises

Kerri Danil kerri.danil at noaa.gov
Thu Dec 22 10:19:40 PST 2011

Hi all,

The following article has just been published:

*Seabird and Dolphin Mortality Associated with Underwater Detonation
Exercises, *Kerri Danil & Judy A. St. Leger*.  **Marine Technology Society
Journal*, November/December 2011, Volume 45, Number 6, pp. 89–95.

We report the details of two wildlife mortality events that were associated
with underwater detonations. The detonations occurred as part of military
training activities at Silver Strand Training Complex in San Diego,
California. In March 2006, an underwater detonation resulted in 70 western
grebes (*Aechmophorus occidentalis*) being killed by subsequent sequential
detonations in the same training exercise. Ten of the 70 western grebes
impacted were necropsied, verifying cause of death as primary blast injury.
In March 2011, a time-delayed underwater detonation resulted in the death
of three or possibly four long-beaked common dolphins (*Delphinus capensis*).
While these blast events were unlikely to impact these species on a
population level, underwater detonations do have the potential for
population-level impacts on wildlife. Both events were accidental
mortalities and the first ever documented from Navy underwater detonation
training in Hawaii, Southern California, and along the U.S. East Coast. The
Navy updated its underwater explosive mitigation measures after each of
these mortality events to limit the potential of future mortalities by
requiring sequential detonations to occur either less than 5 s or more
than 30 min apart and by suspending time-delayed detonation training
exercises until more robust precautionary measures can be developed.

This article is in the first volume of a 2- volume special
editition  "Legacy Underwater Munitions: Assessment, Evaluation of Impacts,
and Potential Response Technologies".  Part 1 of this 2 volume edition can
be purchased at: https://www.mtsociety.org/publications/.
For pdf reprints of only the article itself, e-mail: Kerri.Danil at noaa.gov.

Kerri Danil
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