Activists protesting Navy’s dolphin use, claiming the Navy “deserves better than flipper”

Members of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific Marine Mammal Team pose May 15, 2013, with one of the Navy's specially trained Atlantic bottle-nosed dolphins. The team, along with the dolphin, are responsible for the discovery and recovery of the Howell torpedo. (Photo by Alan Antczak/Released)

SAN DIEGO – Over the weekend, animal rights activists protested the Navy’s dolphin program, claiming the dolphins are not good enough for the Navy and the defense of the country.

Roughly a dozen protesters lined up on the Harbor Drive Bridge, which overlooks the Navy’s dolphin containment area, to protest the “inhumane and outdated” practice.

“It is a waste of tax dollars. It is a threat to national security. We and our military folks deserve far better than what flipper can do to protect this country,” said one protester.

The Navy’s Marine Mammal Program contends,  “just as the dog’s keen sense of smell makes it ideal for detecting land mines, the U.S. Navy has found that the biological sonar of dolphins” as useful at finding explosives under water.

“[Mammals are the] only asset capable of detecting, marking and neutralizing partially buried or buried mines,” said Robert Simmons, Navy Underwater EOD assistant program manager, in 2013.

Sailors from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 11 transport a dolphin from USS Anchorage (LPD 23) to conduct marine mammal training during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communications Specialist Elena Pence/Released)
Sailors from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 11 transport a dolphin from USS Anchorage (LPD 23) to conduct marine mammal training during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communications Specialist Elena Pence/Released)

The U.S. Navy issued the following statement:

“The Navy Marine Mammal Program meets or exceeds all standards set by federal government agencies and independent professional organizations. Marine mammals in the Navy’s Marine Mammal Program (NMMP) provide vital and essential capabilities that save lives and protect our Sailors and Marines, at sea and while in port. The Navy’s long term goal is to develop technologies that will replace marine mammals in performing those same missions, but we aren’t there yet. Until then, we are committed to providing the highest level of care for our marine mammals while also meeting our principal obligation of doing everything possible to guard and protect America’s national security interests around the world.”

The Navy is expected to replace the dolphins with  an autonomous unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV), Knifefish, under development by General Dynamics Mission Systems and Bluefin Robotics by 2017.

Knifefish is a heavyweight class Mine Countermeasure (MCM) Unmanned Undersea Vehicle (UUV) that is designed for deployment off the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). Its job is to detect, avoid and identify mine threats, reducing the risk to personnel by operating in the minefield as an off-board sensor while the host ship stays outside the minefield boundaries. (General Dynamics)

© 2016 Bright Mountain Media, Inc.

All rights reserved. The content of this webpage may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written consent of Bright Mountain Media, Inc. which may be contacted at info@brightmountainmedia.com, ticker BMTM.

Author

Post navigation