By JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER
HONOLULU (AP) - The Navy has agreed to limit its use of sonar and other training that inadvertently harms whales, dolphins and other marine mammals off Hawaii and Southern California.
A federal judge in Honolulu on Monday signed a settlement between environmental groups, the military branch and the National Marine Fisheries Service.
Earthjustice attorney David Henkin says the settlement includes limits or bans on using mid-frequency active sonar and explosives in specified areas. But some of the training will continue.
He says sonar can cause deafness or death in marine mammals at a close distance. The Navy estimates it could inadvertently kill 155 whales and dolphins off Hawaii and Southern California, mostly from explosives.
Lt. Cmdr. Matt Knight, a U.S. Pacific Fleet spokesman, said the settlement preserves key testing and training.