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California | North Coast | Environment & Forest Defense | Government & Elections

MLPA Initiative officials warned prior to blue whale death
by David Gurney
Saturday Dec 10th, 2011 5:11 PM
See the YouTube video HERE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z47kLRFK6M0
http://noyonews.net

On Sept. 17, 2009, Steve Sullivan, an oceanographer from Northern California, warned the top-level Ocean Protection Council that oversees the budget for the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative, that sonar surveys for the MLPAI were being conducted illegally.

He clearly stated that agencies including the California Department of Fish and Game, NOAA, the California State University at Monterey and Fugro Pelagos, were using side-scan and multi-beam sonar to chart underwater habitat without the legally required Marine Geophysical Survey Permit from the state of California.

Sullivan also stated that these entities were violating the law by not having a marine mammal observer on board, to avoid whale, dolphin and sea lion strikes.

Despite Mr. Sullivan's complaint to the OPC, one month later, on Oct. 19th, 2009 the NOAA and MLPA Initiative marine mapping vessel 'Pacific Star' struck and killed a 72-foot blue whale off Fort Bragg, CA.

The MLPA Initiative, a privately funded process to create so-called "marine protected areas," denied any responsibility for the accident, or the illegal operation of its mapping vessel, and shifted the blame to NOAA.

NOAA subsequently conducted its own investigation of itself, and the privately contracted Fugro Pelagos company was fined a few thousand dollars, and granted a retro-active permit to cover its lapsed license.

See the YouTube video HERE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z47kLRFK6M0