Petition statement to be delivered to Secretary Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense

Secretary Hagel, Stop the Extinction of the Right Whale

Sign this petition

Note: By signing, you agree to receive email messages from Civic Action and Political Action. You may unsubscribe at any time. [ Privacy policy ]

Embed This petition

<iframe src="" class="moveon-petition" id="petition-embed" width="300px" height="500px"></iframe>

Secretary Hagel, Stop the Extinction of the Right Whale

To be delivered to Secretary Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense

Petition Statement

The US Navy plans to practice submarine warfare in the most critical habitat of the North Atlantic Right Whale, using sonar and underwater explosives in an area adjacent their only known calving grounds. This will lead to the extinction of this rarest of whales, population 350. Only you can stop the Navy from casually killing the world’s most endangered whale during routine training. Please use your power to force the Navy to use satellite technology and smart buoy whale detection. Nobody else has the power to make these changes. You do.
There are currently 93 signatures. NEW goal - We need 100 signatures!

Petition Background

Secretary Hagel:
People who live on Georgia’s coast have protected the North American Right Whale for many years. NOAA has designated our waters as critical habitat for this rarest of whales, for it is here that they birth their calves. A dozen environmental agencies tried to stop the Navy from building a submarine warfare training range here that will produce a barrage of sound and traffic that should not be allowed in the Right Whale’s nursery, where it targets the most vulnerable animals. They failed.

Only you can stop the Navy’s use of deadly sonar and underwater explosives in training programs over the next 5 years. Nobody else has the power to make these changes. You do. Please use your power to force the Navy to use satellite technology, extremely accurate but harmless to marine mammals. Make them use the “Listening Buoy” system of whale detection instead of positioning a sailor on top of a ship, looking for whales. By the time a whale is spotted by visual detection, it’s too late to prevent vessel strike, much less the excruciating sound of sonar, which travels 900 miles underwater and causes cetaceans to bleed from their brains and often, to beach themselves.

Over the next five years, in the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Gulf of Mexico, our Navy will kill thousands of whales and dolphins and destroy the hearing of five million others. Secretary Hagel, a deaf whale cannot navigate, care for its young, evade predators, or find food . A deaf whale is a dead whale. In the case of the North American Right Whale, there are only 350 whales left. The naval warfare range, built to last 20 years, will cause their extinction. It won’t take long.

Mitigating the carnage will not compromise our national security. There are many alternatives--- underwater drones, satellites, smart buoys, and simulation techniques-- that can be used in training our naval personnel to maintain their place as the best in the world.
In fact, to be the best, our Navy must use the new techniques, because 20-year-old sonar technology cannot detect the new enemy subs coated with sonar-repelling paint. Modern technology can reduce the toll without compromising national security.
The staggering numbers of dead and dying marine mammals predicted by our Navy cannot be allowed to stand. These inhumane actions, used not in war, but in routine training for war, must stop. We are better than that. Whales have been on this earth for 50 million years. They are not our enemy. There is no compelling need for them to suffer impairment to their most vital functions. There is not need for them to die slow, painful deaths. There is no need for whole species to go extinct.
You, and only you have the power to compel the Navy to change its course. President Obama appointed you in part because you, as a combat soldier, understand what our troops must face in defending America. In this, you are unique. Please use your understanding to direct our Navy to chart a humane course when dealing with other creatures that have as much right to live as we do.

Current petition signers


Note: MoveOn Civic Action does not necessarily endorse the contents of petitions posted on this site. MoveOn Petitions is an open tool that anyone can use to post a petition advocating any point of view, so long as the petition does not violate our terms of service.