Humanities Faculty Articles & Other Works

Title

Romancing the Bomb: Marine Animals in Naval Strategic Defense

Document Type

Article

Published In

Organization and Environment: International Journal of Ecosocial Research

Publication Date

Spring 3-1-2001

Abstract

Militaries have a long history of employing bottle-nosed dolphins in wartime. Begun in 1960, the US Navy's Marine Mammals Systems's (MMS) press gang captured several dolphins for hydrodynamic studies of underwater torpedo design. In 1969, the Navy expanded its experiments with marine animals to other ocean dwellers considered intelligent by human standards. The navy has begun advertising itself as a proponent of environmental renewal. However the recent deaths of nontrainee dolphins and whales have placed the Navy in an unflattering spotlight and tarnished its image as champion of environmental protection. In conjunction with allegations of injuring wild populations of dolphins and whales, accusations of abusing marine mammal trainees have also been leveled against the Navy.