Whales under threat as US approves seismic oil prospecting in Atlantic

Sonic cannons to be used in ocean from Delaware to Florida
Study estimates 138,000 sea creatures could be affected

The Obama administration is reopening the eastern seaboard to offshore oil and gas exploration, approving seismic surveys using sonic cannons that can pinpoint energy deposits deep beneath the ocean floor.

Friday's announcement was the first real step towards what could be a transformation in coastal states, creating thousands of jobs to support a new energy infrastructure. But it dismayed environmentalists and people who owe their livelihoods to fisheries and tourism.

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