US study says navy training in Marianas will affect endangered species

6:02 am on 23 June 2015

A United States biological study has concluded that US Navy training in the Northern Marianas will affect endangered or threatened species and their habitats, but not jeopardise them.

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Photo: AFP

The species include whales, dolphins, and sea turtles.

The study, by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Marine Fisheries Service, says incidental take, or "accidental kills" estimated by the Navy will not destroy the animals or their habitats.

The navy will conduct sonar, deep-sea and ordnance training in areas where endangered marine mammals are.

Environmental groups say the use of extensive sonar training can result in death, permanent hearing loss, or lung injuries for marine mammals, as well as irreparable disruptions to their feeding, breeding, and communicating.

The service's biological opinion comes nearly a month after the final environmental impact documents for the Marianas Islands Training and Testing area were made public.