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The impact of military activities upon cetaceans requires more research but it has been suggested that certain military exercises and testing may displace or distress cetaceans.

Submarine activity, torpedo testing and increased ship activities related to military manoeuvres could disturb a variety of cetacean species in their feeding, breeding and resting grounds. For example, the testing and use of low frequency sonar have been linked to a mass stranding of beaked whales in the Canary Islands and the Ionian Sea.

The US Navy released a report in which it takes responsibility for the death of six whales found beached with hemorrhaging after a sonar test in the Bahamas. The report stated that: "The investigation team concludes that tactical mid-range frequency sonar aboard US Navy ships that were in use during the sonar exercise in question were the most plausible source of this acoustic or impulse trauma," and pledged further study to find a solution to this threat.