Animated maps released today by the environmental group Oceana show the overlap of marine mammals and proposed seismic airgun blasting sites in the Atlantic Ocean.
The maps show the density of bottlenose dolphins, and endangered humpback, fin and sperm whales over the course of a year at the proposed test sites, which span from the Delaware to Florida.
There is a growing body of evidence that the loud process of seismic testing for oil beneath the ocean floor could have negative impacts on the reproduction and survival of marine species. Seventy-five marine scientists sent President Obama a letter last year stating their concern that the testing could interfere with the sounds that fish, turtles, whales and dolphins need to survive. According to Oceana, government estimates indicate that 138,000 animals could be injured by airgun testing.
The maps were created with 23 years of data from Duke University’s Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab.