Posted Aug 07, 2007 02:37 pm CDT
A federal judge in Los Angeles has ordered the Navy to stop using sonar in training exercises that can harm whales and other marine mammals.
Judge Florence-Marie Cooper said mass strandings of whales have occurred after sonar is used and the Navy failed to mitigate the harm, the New York Times reports. She issued a preliminary injunction barring sonar training through 2009.
The Navy has argued sailors need to be trained how to use the sonar system to detect enemy vessels.
The ruling is in a suit brought by five environmental groups, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Researchers suspect sonar either causes marine mammals pain or frightens them into surfacing too quickly.