Back in June we had the calamitous stranding of a number of common dolphins on the UK south coast. At the time we challenged the UK Royal Navy to let us know what they had been doing at the time, so that if there was any connection to their activity, then we could help advise how to avoid such a thing happening again.
But it seems that we have had to use the power of law to get an answer. Responding to a Freedom of Information Request from WDCS the Ministry of Defense has confirmed that military sonar was being used during the South Coast Naval Exercises until the day of the stranding. Up to 31 military vessels were involved in the exercises on the 4th and 5th of June.
So, despite reports claiming that the Royal Navy were not there or reports that they were not using any systems that could be connected to the stranding incident, we, maybe, have taken another step to unraveling what really went on.
So did the Royal Navy cause the stranding? We still don’t know, - maybe they didn’t and maybe they did.
However, why does it take such extremes to get this kind of information?
WDCS simply wants to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
The Royal Navy is tasked with protecting us, and what we hold dear, from all threats. The UK’s whales and dolphins form part of that natural heritage we hold dear and we expect the Royal Navy to execute its responsibilities with this in mind.