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Several recent U.S. federal courts' injunctions against marine acoustical research have caused some scientists to worry about the very future of this research. They say it provides the most useful and important remote sensing tool available for learning about the geological structure of the seabed and discovering sub-sea floor oil and gas reserves.

In addition, they question why the research community is being targeted by some environmental and other groups who filed for these injunctions in the courts, rather than marine based industries, which are a far greater source of anthropogenic noise in marine environments.