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Encyclopedia > U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program

The U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program (NMMP) is a program administered by the U.S. Navy which studies the military use of marine mammals  — principally Bottlenose Dolphins and California Sea Lions  — and trains circus animals to perform tasks such as ship and harbor protection, mine detection and clearance, and equipment recovery. The program is based in San Diego, California, where animals are housed and trained on an ongoing basis. NMMP animal teams have been deployed for use in combat zones, such as during the Vietnam War and the Iraq War. Image File history File links US_Navy_Marine_Mammal_Program_Logo. ... USN redirects here. ... A Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae), a member of Order Cetacea A Leopard seal (Hydrurga leptonyx), a member of infrafamily Pinnipedia A West Indian Manatee (Trichechus manatus), a member of Order Sirenia A pair of Sea Otters (Enhydra lutris), a member of family Mustelidae yeahh boii ♥ A marine mammal is a... Binomial name Montagu, 1821 Bottlenose Dolphin range (in blue) The Bottlenose Dolphin is the most common and well-known dolphin. ... Binomial name (Lesson, 1828) The California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus) is a coastal sea lion of the northern Pacific Ocean. ... Polish wz. ... Nickname: Location of San Diego within San Diego County Coordinates: , Country United States State California County San Diego Founded July 16, 1769 Incorporated March 27, 1850 Government  - Mayor Jerry Sanders  - City Attorney Michael Aguirre  - City Council Scott Peters Kevin Faulconer Toni Atkins Tony Young Brian Maienschein Donna Frye Jim Madaffer... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Largest metro area Greater Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... “Fights” redirects here. ... Combatants Republic of Vietnam United States Republic of Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand The Philippines National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam People’s Republic of China Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Strength US 1,000,000 South Korea 300,000 Australia 48,000... For other uses, see Iraq war (disambiguation). ...


The program has been dogged by controversy over the treatment of the animals and speculation as to the nature of its mission and training. This has been due at least in part to the secrecy of the program, which the Navy claims was de-classified in the early 1990s for propaganda purposes. Admittedly some superficial areas of the NMMP have been declassified, but training for operations and the politically tenuous technology employed remains deeply classified. Since the program’s inception, there have been ongoing animal welfare concerns, with many opposing the use of marine mammals in military applications, even in essentially non-combatant roles such as mine detection. The Navy cites external oversight, including ongoing monitoring, in defense of its animal care standards. It has been suggested that Information sensitivity be merged into this article or section. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Non-combatant is a military and legal term describing civilians not engaged in combat. ...

Contents

History

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This article has been tagged since June 2007.

The origins of the program date back to 1960, when a Pacific White-sided Dolphin was acquired for hydrodynamic studies seeking to improve torpedo performance.[1] The aim was to determine whether dolphins had evolved a sophisticated drag-reduction system, but the technology of the day failed to demonstrate that dolphins have any unusual capabilities in this respect. This research has now resumed with the benefit of modern-day technology; among the possible drag-reducing mechanisms being studied for human use are skin compliance, biopolymers, and boundary-layer heating. Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... Binomial name Lagenorhynchus obliquidens (Gill, 1865) Pacific White-sided Dolphin range The Pacific White-sided Dolphin (Lagenorynchus obliquidens) is a very active dolphin found in the cool to temperate waters of the North Pacific Ocean. ... Hydrodynamics is fluid dynamics applied to liquids, such as water, alcohol, oil, and blood. ... The torpedo, historically called a locomotive torpedo, is a self-propelled explosive projectile weapon, launched above or below the water surface, propelled underwater toward a target, and designed to detonate on contact or in proximity to a target. ... An object falling through a gas or liquid experiences a force in direction opposite to its motion. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... In physics and fluid mechanics, a boundary layer is that layer of fluid in the immediate vicinity of a bounding surface. ...


In 1963, the animals' intelligence, exceptional diving ability, and trainability led to the foundation of a new research program at Point Mugu, California, where a research facility was built on a sand spit between Mugu Lagoon and the ocean. The intention was to study the dolphins' senses and capabilities, such as their natural sonar and deep-diving physiology, and to determine how dolphins and sea lions might be used to perform useful tasks, such as searching for and marking objects in the water. A major accomplishment was the discovery that trained dolphins and sea lions could be reliably worked untethered in the open sea. Point Mugu is a geographical promontory on the Pacific coast in Ventura County, California, near the cities of Port Hueneme and Oxnard. ... This article is about underwater sound propagation. ... Genera Eumetopias Zalophus Otaria Neophoca Phocarctos A sea lion rookery at Monterey, California A sea lion is any of several marine mammals of the family Otariidae. ...


In 1965, a Navy dolphin named Tuffy participated in the SEALAB II project off La Jolla, California, carrying tools and messages between the surface and the habitat 200 feet (60 m) below. Tuffy was also trained to locate and guide lost divers to safety. SEALAB I SEALAB I, II, and III were experimental underwater habitats developed by the United States Navy to prove the viability of saturation diving and humans living in isolation for extended periods of time. ... One of the beaches at La Jolla Cove La Jolla, California, is a seaside resort community comprised of 42,808[1] residents within the city of San Diego. ...

Dolphin pens at the NMMP facility in Point Loma, San Diego.
Dolphin pens at the NMMP facility in Point Loma, San Diego.

In 1967 the NMMP was classified and has since evolved into a major black budget program [1]. The Point Mugu facility and its personnel were relocated to Point Loma in San Diego, and placed under the control of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center San Diego. Additionally, a laboratory was established in Hawaii at the Marine Corps Air Station on Kāneʻohe Bay at the Northern end of Mokapu Peninsula. However, in 1993, as the result of the Base Realignment and Closure process, the Hawaii lab was closed and the majority of the animals were moved to San Diego; some animals remained, as part of a program of joint research between the Navy and the University of Hawaiʻi. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (895x485, 82 KB) Summary The US Navys dolphin pens, part of their dolphin training program, at Point Loma, San Diego; as seen from Shelter Island. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (895x485, 82 KB) Summary The US Navys dolphin pens, part of their dolphin training program, at Point Loma, San Diego; as seen from Shelter Island. ... Old Point Loma Lighthouse Jon Sullivan Point Loma is a scenic hill that sits atop San Diego Bay, in California, USA. Point Lomas well known landmark is the Cabrillo National Monument, named after Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, a Portuguese navigator sailing in the service of Spain, the first European... Nickname: Location of San Diego within San Diego County Coordinates: , Country United States State California County San Diego Founded July 16, 1769 Incorporated March 27, 1850 Government  - Mayor Jerry Sanders  - City Attorney Michael Aguirre  - City Council Scott Peters Kevin Faulconer Toni Atkins Tony Young Brian Maienschein Donna Frye Jim Madaffer... Old Point Loma Lighthouse Jon Sullivan Point Loma is a scenic hill that sits atop San Diego Bay, in California, USA. Point Lomas well known landmark is the Cabrillo National Monument, named after Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, a Portuguese navigator sailing in the service of Spain, the first European... A testing facility at SPAWAR San Diego Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center San Diego (SSC San Diego) is the U.S. Navys research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support center for command, control and communication systems and ocean surveillance. ... Official language(s) English, Hawaiian Capital Honolulu Largest city Honolulu Area  Ranked 43rd  - Total 10,931 sq mi (29,311 km²)  - Width n/a miles (n/a km)  - Length 1,522 miles (2,450 km)  - % water 41. ... Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH), formerly Kaneohe Marine Corps Air Station (KMCAS), is a U.S. Marine Corps base facility and air station located on the Mokapu Peninsula of windward Oahu in the City & County of Honolulu. ... Kāneohe Bay on a calm morning viewed from the Kokokahi YMCA at the south end of the bay. ... Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) is a process of the United States federal government directed at the administration and operation of the US Armed Forces, used by the United States Department of Defense and Congress to close excess military installations and realign the total asset inventory in order to save... This article is about the University of Hawaii system. ...


The program

The Navy Marine Mammal Program is based in San Diego, California, as part of SSC San Diego. The animals are trained in San Diego Bay; dolphin handlers can frequently be seen on the bay, where specialized small boats are used to transport dolphins between their pens and the training areas. Other locations are sometimes used for specific research, such as San Clemente Island in the Channel Islands of California, and torpedo test ranges in Seattle and Canada. The program's stated animal activities include protecting ports and Navy assets from swimmer attack, locating and assisting in the recovery of expensive exercise and training targets, and locating potentially dangerous sea mines. An rumored swimmer attack program originally called “Swimmer Nullification” is the most controversial. Dolphins were allegedly first trained to drown people but that was too difficult. Next, a very large hypodermic needle was connected to a number of small CO2 cartridges and mounted on a fiberglass nosecone. Nickname: Location of San Diego within San Diego County Coordinates: , Country United States State California County San Diego Founded July 16, 1769 Incorporated March 27, 1850 Government  - Mayor Jerry Sanders  - City Attorney Michael Aguirre  - City Council Scott Peters Kevin Faulconer Toni Atkins Tony Young Brian Maienschein Donna Frye Jim Madaffer... San Diego Bay and Coronado Bridge at night San Diego Bay is a natural harbor adjacent to San Diego, California. ... View from space of Southern California coast, showing Santa Catalina Island (closer to mainland) and San Clemente Island (further from mainland). ... The Channel Islands of California, also called the Santa Barbara Islands, are a chain of eight islands located in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Southern California along the Santa Barbara Channel in the United States of America. ... “Seattle” redirects here. ...


There are five marine mammal teams, each trained for a specific type of mission. Each human-animal team is known in military jargon by a "mark" number (MK for short); the five teams are called "MK 4", "MK 5", "MK 6", "MK 7", and "MK 8". The MK 4, 7 and 8 teams use dolphins; MK 5 uses sea lions, and MK 6 uses both sea lions and dolphins. These teams can be deployed at 72 hours' notice by ship, aircraft, helicopter, and land vehicle to regional conflicts or staging areas around the world.

NMMP dolphins, such as the one pictured here wearing a locating pinger, performed mine clearance work in the Persian Gulf during the Iraq War.
NMMP dolphins, such as the one pictured here wearing a locating pinger, performed mine clearance work in the Persian Gulf during the Iraq War.

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (665x800, 148 KB) Summary Bottlenose dolphin of the NMMP on mineclearance operations, with locator beacon. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (665x800, 148 KB) Summary Bottlenose dolphin of the NMMP on mineclearance operations, with locator beacon. ... Map of the Persian Gulf. ... For other uses, see Iraq war (disambiguation). ...

Mine hunting

Three of the marine mammal teams are trained to detect enemy sea mines, which constitute a major hazard to U.S. Navy ships.[2] MK 4 uses dolphins to detect and mark the location of tethered sea mines floating off the bottom, while MK 7 dolphins are trained to detect and mark the location of mines on the sea floor or buried in sediment. The MK 8 team is trained to swiftly identify safe corridors for the initial landing of troops ashore. Polish wz. ...


In operations sanitized for the public, a dolphin awaits a cue from its handler before starting to search a specific area using its natural echolocation. The dolphin reports back to its handler, giving particular responses to communicate whether a target object is detected. If a mine-like target is detected, the handler sends the dolphin to mark the location of the object by releasing a buoy, so it can be avoided by Navy vessels or neutralized by Navy divers. Echolocation, also called Biosonar, is the biological sonar used by several mammals such as bats (although not all species), dolphins and whales (though not baleen whales). ...


Mine-clearance dolphins were deployed to the Persian Gulf during the Iraq War in 2003. The Navy claims that these dolphins were effective in helping to detect more than 100 antiship mines and underwater booby traps from the port of Umm Qasr.[3] Map of the Persian Gulf. ... For other uses, see Iraq war (disambiguation). ... This article is about an antipersonnel trap designed for use against humans. ... Cranes at Umm Qasr await cargo. ...


Force protection

MK 6 uses dolphins and sea lions as sentries to protect harbor installations and ships against unauthorized human swimmers. MK 6 was first operationally deployed with dolphins during the Vietnam War from 1971 to 1972 and in Bahrain from 1986 to 1987. In the sanitized version, when an enemy diver is detected by a dolphin, the dolphin approaches from behind and bumps a device into the back of the enemy's air tank. This device is attached to a buoy which then floats to the surface, alerting the Navy personnel of the intruder. Sea lions carry a similar device in their mouth, but instead attach it by hand-cuffing one of the enemy's wrists. Sentry may refer to: A sentry is a guard at a gate or other point of passage. ... Combatants Republic of Vietnam United States Republic of Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand The Philippines National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam People’s Republic of China Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Strength US 1,000,000 South Korea 300,000 Australia 48,000...


Object recovery

An NMMP sea lion attaches a recovery line to a piece of test equipment during training.
An NMMP sea lion attaches a recovery line to a piece of test equipment during training.

MK 5 is dedicated to the recovery of test equipment that is fired from ships or dropped from planes into the ocean; the team uses California Sea Lions to locate and attach recovery hardware to underwater objects such as practice mines. In this role they can out-perform human divers, who are restricted to short working times and limited repeat diving. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (932x609, 106 KB) Summary A sea lion of the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program attaching a recovery line to a piece of test equipment. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (932x609, 106 KB) Summary A sea lion of the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program attaching a recovery line to a piece of test equipment. ...


This team first demonstrated its capabilities when it recovered an ASROC (Anti Submarine Rocket) from a depth of 180 feet (50 m) in November 1970. The team has trained in the recovery of dummy victims in a simulated airplane crash. An older Matchbox ASROC launcher, phased out in the 1990s ASROC (for Anti-Submarine ROCket) is an urgent-attack, all-weather, all sea-conditions anti-submarine missile system, developed by the United States Navy, and installed on over 200 surface ships, generally cruisers and destroyers. ...


Attack missions

There has been significant speculation that Navy dolphins are trained in attack missions, such as direct attacks against swimmers in the water or attaching limpet mines to enemy ships in harbor. This is also a popular theme in fiction. The “Swimmer Nullification” program is a major thorn in the Navy’s side. But, ex-employees of the dolphin program have explained in detail how the technology works. After the war, the Navy developed a “silencer” system so that the sensitive hearing of the dolphins would not be affected if 45 cal. slugs and shotgun shells were used in the nosecones. All three options are now available for dolphin use against swimmers depending on the needs of any secret operation. Other benign devices are also available and are generally shown to the public in sanitized presentations. The U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program (NMMP) is a program administered by the U.S. Navy which studies the military use of marine mammals  — principally Bottlenose Dolphins and California Sea Lions  — and trains circus animals to perform tasks such as ship and harbor protection, mine detection and clearance, and... Polish wz. ...


The Navy claims that it has never trained its marine mammals for attack missions against people or ships.[4] The navy claims that since dolphins cannot discern the difference between enemy and friendly vessels, or divers and swimmers, this would be a haphazard means of warfare; instead, the animals are trained to detect all mines and swimmers in an area of concern, and to report back to their handlers, who then decide upon an appropriate response.


The U.S. Navy has an arsenal of more conventional weapons which can be used to attack enemy ships in harbor, such as the Mark 48 torpedo, the Mark 67 submarine-launched mobile mine, and the Mark 60 Captor mine. A single attack submarine could deliver up to forty Mark 67 mines in one mission, each carrying a 230 kg warhead, at a distance up to 5 – 7 miles (8 – 10 km). This is a significantly more powerful and more consistent capability than could be realized by the use of dolphins (presumably submarine-delivered to an enemy harbor). Testing of the Mark 48: The Australian Collins-class submarine, HMAS Farncomb, fired a Mark 48 torpedo at the 28-year-old destroyer escort Torrens. ... A naval mine is a stationary self-contained explosive device placed in water, to destroy ships and/or submarines. ... A captor mine is an American naval mine. ... USS Los Angeles A submarine is a specialized watercraft that can operate underwater. ...


Animals

Bottlenose Dolphins are among the species used by the Navy's Marine Mammal Program.
Bottlenose Dolphins are among the species used by the Navy's Marine Mammal Program.

The Navy identifies the following animal species as having been used or studied by the program at various times: Download high resolution version (2587x1709, 1092 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (2587x1709, 1092 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Binomial name Montagu, 1821 Bottlenose Dolphin range (in blue) The Bottlenose Dolphin is the most common and well-known dolphin. ...

Cetaceans: Pinnipeds: Other:

Today, Bottlenose Dolphins and California Sea Lions are the main animals used, and are kept at the base in San Diego. Dolphins have powerful biological sonar, unmatched by artificial sonar technology in detecting objects in the water column and on the sea floor. Sea lions lack this, but have very sensitive underwater directional hearing and exceptional vision in low-light conditions. Both of these species are trainable and capable of repetitive deep diving. As of the late 1990s, about 140 marine mammals were part of the program.[1] Suborders Mysticeti Odontoceti (see text) The order Cetacea includes whales, dolphins and porpoises. ... Binomial name Delphinapterus leucas (Pallas, 1776) Beluga range This article is about the whale. ... Binomial name Montagu, 1821 Bottlenose Dolphin range (in blue) The Bottlenose Dolphin is the most common and well-known dolphin. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles accessible from a disambiguation page. ... Binomial name (True, 1885) Dalls Porpoise range Dalls Porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli) is a species of porpoise that came to worldwide attention in the 1970s. ... Binomial name Pseudorca crassidens (Owen, 1846) False Killer Whale range The Lovely Whale (Pseudorca crassidens) is a cetacean and one of the larger members of the oceanic dolphin family (Delphinidae). ... Binomial name Orcinus orca Linnaeus, 1758 Orca range (in blue) The orca (Orcinus orca), commonly known as the killer whale, and sometimes called the grampus, is the largest member of the oceanic dolphin family. ... Binomial name Lagenorhynchus obliquidens (Gill, 1865) Pacific White-sided Dolphin range The Pacific White-sided Dolphin (Lagenorynchus obliquidens) is a very active dolphin found in the cool to temperate waters of the North Pacific Ocean. ... Binomial name Globicephala macrorhynchus Gray, 1846 Short-finned Pilot Whale range Globicephala melas Traill, 1809 Long-finned Pilot Whale range Calderón redirects here. ... Binomial name (G. Cuvier, 1812) Rissos Dolphin range The Rissos Dolphin (Grampus griseus) is the only species of dolphin in the genus Grampus. ... Binomial name Steno bredanensis Lesson, 1828 Rough-toothed Dolphin range The Rough-toothed Dolphin (Steno bredanensis) is a fairly large dolphin that can be found in deep warm and tropical waters around the world. ... subfamilies Otariidae Phocidae Odobenidae Pinnipeds are large marine mammals belonging to the Pinnipedia, a family (sometimes a suborder or superfamily, depending on the classification scheme) of the order Carnivora. ... Binomial name (Lesson, 1828) The California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus) is a coastal sea lion of the northern Pacific Ocean. ... Binomial name bobbi Linnaeus,, 1758 Common or Harbour Seals (Phoca vitulina) are true seals of the Northern Hemisphere. ... Species M. leonina M. angustirostris Elephant seals are large, oceangoing mammals in the genus Mirounga, in the earless seal family (Phocidae). ... Genera Callorhinus Arctocephalus Fur seals, or Arctocephalinae make up one of the two distinct groups of marine mammals called seals. Fur seals are usually smaller than sea lions and have a coat of dense fur intermixed with guard hairs. ... Binomial name Halichoerus grypus (Fabricius, 1791) Grey Seal range (in blue) The Grey Seal (Halichoerus grypus) is found on both shores of the North Atlantic Ocean. ... Binomial name Eumetopias jubatus Schreber, 1776 The Steller sea lion, Eumetopias jubatus also known as the Northern Sea Lion and Stellers sea lion, is a sea lion of the northern Pacific. ... For other meanings of bird, see bird (disambiguation). ... Orders Carcharhiniformes Heterodontiformes Hexanchiformes Lamniformes Orectolobiformes Pristiophoriformes Squaliformes Squatiniformes † Symmoriida Sharks (superorder Selachimorpha) are fish with a full cartilaginous skeleton [1] and a streamlined body. ... Echolocation, also called Biosonar, is the biological sonar used by several mammals such as bats (although not all species), dolphins and whales (though not baleen whales). ...


Animal welfare

An NMMP team performs for onlookers at Shelter Island, San Diego.
An NMMP team performs for onlookers at Shelter Island, San Diego.

There has been continual controversy relating to alleged mistreatment of animals in the program. Allegations have been made concerning abusive treatment of animals in the past, and controversy continues over the use of marine mammals for military purposes. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (873x603, 107 KB) Summary US Navy dolphin being trained in Shelter Island Harbour, San Diego, as part of the US Navys Cetacean Intelligence Mission. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (873x603, 107 KB) Summary US Navy dolphin being trained in Shelter Island Harbour, San Diego, as part of the US Navys Cetacean Intelligence Mission. ...


The Navy's policy requires that only positive reinforcement techniques be used in the training of their animals, and that they be cared for in accordance with accepted standards. The NMMP claims to comply strictly with United States Department of Defense requirements and federal laws regarding the proper care of the animals, including the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Animal Welfare Act. The program is listed as an accredited institution by the Association for the Accreditation of Animal Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC), whose voluntary accreditation program requires research programs to demonstrate that they meet standards of animal care beyond those required by law.[5] As a standard targeted at laboratory animals, this accreditation requires a specific standard of general animal care, but does not set restrictions on the purposes for which the animals are used.[6] The NMMP is also listed as a member of the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums.[7] The NMMP protocols for both care and research must be approved by an institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC). The NMMP IACUC includes non-NMMP researchers, veterinarians, and members of the community. The Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 prohibits, with certain exceptions, the take of marine mammals in U.S. waters and by U.S. citizens on the high seas, and the importation of marine mammals and marine mammal products into the U.S. Congress defines take as “harass, hunt, capture... The Animal Welfare Act is a law passed by government to protect the welfare of animals. ...


The use of marine mammals by the Navy, even in accordance with the Navy's stated policy, continues to meet opposition. Opponents cite the inevitable stresses involved in this type of training, which is contrary to the animals' natural lifestyles, particularly regarding their confinement when not training. There is continuing controversy over the use of anti-foraging devices, such as muzzles, which prevent the dolphins from foraging for food while working. The Navy states that this is to prevent their ingesting harmful objects, but opponents claim that this is done to reinforce the handlers' control over the dolphins, which is based on food rewards.[8] The re-integration and/or extended care of "retired" animals is also a concern. A muzzle is a device, usually made of leather, that is cyllindrical in shape. ... Foraging just means looking for food (or, metaphorically, anything else). ...


The field use of the animals is also an issue for some critics, partly because of the stresses involved in transportation  — particularly where dolphins are transported on dry carriers  — as well as stresses arising from the sudden transplantation of the animals into an unfamiliar environment. Dolphins native to areas in which NMMP dolphins are introduced can also pose a threat, since they are known to defend their territory from intruders.


Other people raise the issue of hazards to the animals in their working environments. The risk of accidental detonation of a mine by an animal is of concern to some; the Navy maintains that the chances of this are minimal, because the animals are trained not to touch the mines, which in any case are specifically designed not to be detonated by marine animals. Another fear is that opposing forces, aware of mine-hunting dolphins in a given area, may shoot dolphins in the water, leading to deaths of both NMMP and native animals.


In the media

The NMMP has received much sensational coverage in the media, in some part because of the unusual nature of the program and the controversial concept of using intelligent marine mammals for military purposes. The NMMP was classified until the early 1990s, which also contributed to speculation about its true nature and even its proper title, with some referring to it as the Cetacean Intelligence Mission. Intelligence is a general mental capability that involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend ideas and language, and learn. ... Classified information is secret information to which access is restricted by law or corporate rules to a particular hierarchical class of people. ...


From time to time, stories have surfaced in the media claiming that military dolphins trained for attack missions, or even equipped with weaponry, have escaped and pose a danger to the public, but the Navy has stated that its dolphins have never been trained for any kind of attack mission against ships or people. During Hurricane Katrina in 2005, there were media reports that some of the Navy's dolphins, equipped with poison dart guns and trained to attack hostile swimmers in the water, escaped when their containment area in Lake Pontchartrain was breached, posing a threat to swimmers.[9] However, the Navy reported that all of its dolphins were accounted for, and that its only dolphin training centre is in San Diego, far from the area affected by Katrina. During the hurricane, some dolphins did escape from the Marine Life Oceanarium in Gulfport, Mississippi, and were subsequently recaptured.[10][11] This article is about the Atlantic hurricane of 2005. ... Lake Pontchartrains north shore at Fontainebleau State Park near Mandeville, Louisiana in 2004 Lake Pontchartrain (local English pronunciation ) (French: Lac Pontchartrain, pronounced ) is a brackish lake located in southeastern Louisiana. ...


The concept of military dolphins has been explored in fiction, notably in the film The Day of the Dolphin (Mike Nichols, 1973) loosely based on the novel Un animal doué de la raison (A Sentient Animal, 1967) by Robert Merle. The William Gibson short story Johnny Mnemonic and its film adaptation also featured a cyborg dolphin Navy veteran named "Jones" with a talent for decryption, and an amphetamine addiction. The TV Series seaQuest DSV featured a trained dolphin, Darwin, as a member of the crew. Dolphins armed with sonar cannons were also portrayed in the popular video game Red Alert 2. The writer David Brin's book Startide Rising is about genetically engineered dolphins crewing a spaceship. The Day of the Dolphin is a science fiction, thriller film released in 1973. ... Robert Merle (August 28, 1908 - March 28, 2004) was a French novelist. ... There are a number of people who have been (or are) named William Gibson. ... Johnny Mnemonic is a short story by William Gibson, and a movie loosely based on the short story. ... Johnny Mnemonic is a 1995 cyberpunk-based movie, loosely based on a short story of the same name by William Ford Gibson, in which Keanu Reeves plays the title character, a man with a cybernetic implant in his head designed to store information. ... A cyborg is a cybernetic organism (i. ... This article is about algorithms for encryption and decryption. ... Amphetamine or Amfetamine (Alpha-Methyl-PHenEThylAMINE), also known as, beta-phenyl-isopropylamine, and benzedrine, is a prescription stimulant commonly used to treat Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults and children. ... This section has been identified as trivia. ... Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 was the follow up to Red Alert. ... Glen David Brin, Ph. ... Startide Rising is a 1983 science fiction novel by David Brin and the second book of six set in his Uplift Universe (preceded by Sundiver and followed by The Uplift War). ...


See also

Military of the United States Portal

Image File history File links Naval_Jack_of_the_United_States. ... A U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program dolphin named K-Dog wearing a locating pinger, performed mine clearance work in the Persian Gulf during the Iraq War. ... Military animals are creatures that have been employed by humankind for use in warfare. ...

References

  1. ^ a b A Brief History of the Navy's Marine Mammal Program from the foreword to the Annotated Bibliography of Publications from the NMMP
  2. ^ U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Mine Hunting Systems from the NMMP's home page
  3. ^ Smithsonian Magazine: Uncle Sam's Dolphins  — an article about the NMMP's mine-clearance work in Iraq
  4. ^ U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program Frequently Asked Questions from the NMMP's home page
  5. ^ Association for the Accreditation of Animal Laboratory Animal Care
  6. ^ AAALAC Program Description
  7. ^ The Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums
  8. ^ European Cetacean Bycatch Campaign  — a page on military dolphin use
  9. ^ Armed and dangerous  — Flipper the firing dolphin let loose by Katrina  — story published in the Observer, September 25, 2005, about armed dolphins allegedly let loose by Hurricane Katrina
  10. ^ Dispelling a myth of dangerous Navy dolphins  — MSNBC story in response to the Katrina story in the Observer
  11. ^ Snopes: Killer Dolphins  — article on the Katrina story from the Urban Legends Reference page

A U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program dolphin named K-Dog wearing a locating pinger, performed mine clearance work in the Persian Gulf during the Iraq War. ... is the 268th day of the year (269th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the Atlantic hurricane of 2005. ... MSNBC, a combination of MSN and NBC, is a 24-hour cable news channel in the United States and Canada, and a news website. ...

Further reading

  • Sam H. Ridgway, Handbook of Marine Mammals (6 volumes) Academic Press [written by a NMMP veterinarian]
  • Sam H. Ridgway, "Dolphin Doctor: A Pioneering Veterinarian and Scientist Remembers the Extraordinary Dolphin that Inspired His Career". Dolphin Science Press ISBN 0-9642716-0-5 (original publication, Yankee Books © 1987) [written by a NMMP veterinarian about his work with a dolphin named Tuffy when the facility was at Point Mugu, California]

Academic Press (London, New York and San Diego) was an academic book publisher that is now part of Elsevier. ...

External links


 
 

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