Sonar sent killer whales fleeing

orca_240903

Sonar pulsing from a Navy guided-missile destroyer during training exercises near the San Juan Islands two years ago was likely loud enough to send killer whales fleeing, according to a recent report from the National Marine Fisheries Service.

The report backed up local orca experts who said sonar from the USS Shoup caused a group of orcas to behave abnormally, apparently trying to avoid the sound.

That contradicts the Navy’s previous findings that orcas in Puget Sound’s J Pod seemed unaffected by the sonar coming from the Shoup on May 5, 2003.

Cmdr. Karen Sellers, the Navy’s spokeswoman for the Northwest, acknowledged that the Shoup