Protecting the shelf of the World Ocean from terrorists and saboteurs with the help of animals has long been regarded as a problem of considerable importance. What is being done about it in this country we learn in an article published in the Vestnik Rossiyskoi akademii nauk (Bulletin of the Russian Academy of Sciences) magazine. Its authors are the Director of the Murmansk Institute of Marine Biology (MMBI) of the RAS Kola Scientific Center, Gennady Matishov, head of the staff, Vice-Admiral Sergei Simonenko and commander of the 12th squadron of submarines, Vice-Admiral Nikolai Maximov (Northern Fleet).
The authors of this article point out that coastal waters, marine economic zones and the shelf of the World Ocean are generally used in the interests of the merchant fleet, fishing and other economic activities. Located in these areas are ecologically dangerous structures-seaports and harbors, bases of the atomic fleet, oil processing complexes and storages and transport communications. In the present geopolitical situation there is always a threat of terrorist acts in peacetime, and during armed conflicts-of reconnaissance and sabotage operations of the adversary.
Needless to say that all our objects of strategic importance are equipped with special security systems, hydroacoustic and radio detectors which detect all sorts of targets, including those of small size. But all sorts of technical noises reduce the potential of these technical gear. This being so, specialists have turned to what used to be a non-traditional method of protection of coastal objects. They now use sea animals-whales, dolphins, seals and sea lions which all have highly sensitive systems of sensory hydrolocation which allow to identify deep-sea biological and technical objects with good resolution in the conditions of natural and man-made noises and complicated bottom topography. Electromagnetic and vibration fields generated by whales and Pinnipedia can hardly be detected and thanks to that ... Read more