Published: Mon, December 02, 2019
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Underwater speakers could trick fish into restoring damaged corals

Underwater speakers could trick fish into restoring damaged corals

A new study carried out by an global team of scientists has revealed it may be possible to encourage young fish to settle on damaged reefs by playing back the sounds of healthy corals on underwater loudspeakers.

Different groups of fish provide different functions on coral reefs, meaning an abundant and diverse fish population is an important factor in maintaining a healthy ecosystem. So, the researchers reasoned, giving younger fish some aural encouragement could bring them back to these dead reefs.

"Fish are principal for coral reefs to characteristic as healthy ecosystems", stated the deem about's lead author, Tim Gordon, of the University of Exeter. "Boosting fish populations in this way could help to kick-start natural recovery processes, counteracting the damage we're seeing on many coral reefs around the world".

Researchers explained that the new procedure works by generating the lost sounds when reefs are silenced by degradation.

A team of researchers and marine biologists set up underwater loudspeakers to play recorded sounds of healthy reefs as an experiment to lure young fish to swim in areas where the coral had degraded, Cnet reports. "Juvenile fish home in on these sounds when they're looking for a place to settle", wrote senior author and University of Exeter marine biology professor Stephen Simpson. Reefs become ghostly quiet when degrading as the shrimps and fish disappear.

Marine biologist Tim Gordon of the College of Exeter and colleagues arrange submarine loudspeakers in patches of useless coral round Lizard Island on Australia's lately devastated Nice Barrier Reef.

Increasingly frequent heat waves created marine dead patches in the reef by "laundering", in which the corals are forced to expel their symbiotic algae. Doing so increased the number of species present by 50 percent.

This diversity included species from all sections of the food web - herbivores, detritivores, planktivores and predatory piscivores.

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On the originate of fish recruitment season, when fish spawn and historical, the crew built 33 experimental reef patches out of ineffective coral on originate sand about 27 yards from the naturally occurring reef.

Dr Catherine Head of the Zoological Society of London and the University of Oxford, who was not involved in the study, agreed: "Using acoustic enrichment to help recolonise degraded reefs with essential reef fish is a novel tool which can add to the reef conservation toolbox", she said.

'Nonetheless, we nonetheless have to deal with a number of different threats together with local weather change, overfishing and water air pollution in an effort to defend these fragile ecosystems'.

'From native administration improvements to worldwide political motion, we'd like significant progress in any respect ranges to color a greater future for reefs worldwide'.

The full findings of the study were published in the journal Nature Communications.

This bleached states can final for as much as six weeks, and whereas corals can get well if the temperature drops and the algae return, severely bleached corals die, and turn into coated by algae.

An aerial view of Australia's Nice Barrier Reef.

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