Joanna Lumley has urged Boris Johnson to STOP the “needless” detonation of wartime bombs at sea, because it can cause “deafness and even death” in vulnerable whales and dolphins.
Underwater explosions are crippling and fatal to marine species…
In a letter to the Prime Minister and his fiancée, Carrie Symonds, who is a conservationist and animal welfare campaigner, the actor describes underwater explosions used to clear ordnance ahead of wind farm construction in the UK as “truly shocking in scale”, with a “devastating impact” on marine mammals. Her intervention came after a report last week said that “noise pollution in the ocean was being dangerously overlooked.”
In the seas around Britain, an estimated 50 detonations are carried out every year, but this figure is likely to increase as a result of the quadrupling of offshore wind farms as part of Johnson’s pledge to power every home using wind energy by 2030.
In her letter, Lumley, who supports the wind farm program, said she hoped they would both agree it “should not come at the expense of damage to our marine life”.
“I think we owe it to our marine life to do all that we can.”
She cited a 2015 government-funded study that concluded that one of Britain’s largest mass strandings of whales a decade ago was likely caused by offshore bomb disposal can to prevent such a situation ever happening again – both on our beaches and many miles out at sea.”
Last year, a German study concluded that eight porpoises were deafened and died in August 2019 as a result of explosions used to clear second world war mines in German protection zones in the Baltic Sea. Autopsies were carried out on 24 of the mammals after 41 were found dead on beaches.
Lumley, who has previously used her profile to campaign for the rights of former Gurkha soldiers to live in the UK, fronts a campaign called Stop Sea Blasts, which is backed by four marine conservation charities and several MPs. A petition calling for an end to the practice has been signed by 100,000 people.
The campaign is calling for windfarm contractors to use an alternative and quieter method of clearing ordnance, called “deflagration”.