Protests in Hawaii

On this page you will find information concerning two separate protests:

March 2007 – The Impact of Navy Sonar

On March 16, 2007 Dr. Marsha Green and the International Ocean Noise Coalition (IONC) organized public demonstrations in Maui, Oahu and Kauai to protest the U.S. Navy’s indiscriminate use of sonar in areas frequented by marine mammals. These rallies in Hawaii are the first in a series of demonstrations to educate people globally about sonar and ocean noise.

The demonstrations were conducted on the anniversary of the March, 2000 Bahamas mass stranding where the Navy’s use of mid-frequency active sonar resulted in the deaths of 17 whales of various species.

January 2007 Protest

January 12, 2007 Dr. Marsha Green and a group of students held protests calling for more protection for humpback whales within the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.

Demonstrators Urge Greater Humpback Whale Protection
An official defends the efforts of the national whale sanctuary

By Gary Kubota, Star Bulletin

The sanctuary, established in 1994, encompasses about 1,370 square miles, including most waters between Maui and the near by islands of Lanai, Molokai and Kahoolawe. The sanctuary’s stated purpose is to protect humpback whales and their habitat. A map of the sanctuary is located at

Numerous threats to whales exist within the sanctuary waters:

1. Noise pollution

  • Between the islands is the Shallow Water Submarine Torpedo Training Range, where the U.S. Navy has practiced antisubmarine warfare for years.
  • The Navy has placed 52 hydrophones and 8 acoustic projectors on the ocean floor in the area. The projectors transmit high intensity active sonar and some low frequency signals up to 190 db.
  • In 1993 North Pacific Acoustic Laboratory (NPAL) was established off Kauai. NPAL has transmitted a source level sound of 195 db, 24 hours a day for ten years.
  • In 1998 the Navy was allowed to test humpback whale reactions to extraordinary loud low frequency active sonar (LFAS) in waters off the island of Hawaii.
  • The University of Hawaii uses seismic air guns to map the ocean floor, emitting sounds up to 240 db.

2. Boat collisions with whales – These are not always reported so the exact number is unknown.

To read about the dangers of boat collisions on whales go to:

3. Toxic waste – Not all boat harbors have waste pumping stations; therefore boats dump sewage and toxic treatment chemicals in the water daily. Oil spills, fertilizer and toxic chemical runoff and garbage all contribute to the contaminants in the ocean.

To read more about the dangers of toxic waste on whales go to:

4. Debris entanglement – This includes fishing lines and ropes.

To read more about the dangers of entanglement on whales go to:

Does this sound like a sanctuary where you would want to birth, nurse and raise your baby?

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