The Navy implements protective measures before, during, and after Navy training exercises to reduce potential impacts to marine species. Protective measures are required during training exercises and testing events, such as precision anchoring drills, sonar training, and firing non-explosive practice torpedoes.
The Navy uses the best available science to develop protective measures in collaboration with federal environmental regulators. The measures vary between activities, and are tailored to the training type, location, and time of year.
- Trained lookouts are posted to look for marine mammals before, during and after training events. All sightings of marine mammals are reported to the appropriate watch station, and adjustments made to avoid any animals sighted. All sightings are reported to regulators.
- Aerial surveys are also conducted for training exercises that involve aircraft before the training exercise begins.
- Sonar power settings are either reduced or shut down when marine mammals are sighted within designated distances to avoid impacts to the animals
- Critical habits that are designated for right whales have additional mitigation during calving seasons. Also, near shore and beach areas where sea turtles nest have additional mitigation during nesting season.