Published: Tue, December 03, 2019
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Loudspeakers are bringing fish back to coral reefs

Loudspeakers are bringing fish back to coral reefs

An global team of scientists have been making a big noise on Australia's Great Barrier Reef, in an effort to restore life back to the underwater wonder.

Scientists at the Australian Institute of Marine Science surveyed fish populations living near a pair of severely bleached reefs, the Great Barrier Reef in the western Pacific and the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean. The examine, reported within the journal Nature Communications, discovered twice as many fish flocked to the lifeless coral patches the place wholesome reef sounds had been performed in contrast with the patches the place no sound was performed. Coral reefs depend on a symbiotic relationship between the coral and algae that lives inside them; it's the basic building block of their existence.

Known as "acoustic enrichment", researchers believe that putting underwater speakers near the dying reefs could help bring young fish to the reefs and restore them. The process can be used to increase fish population that will subsequently help restore degraded regions of a reef. However, the rise in average water temperatures due to climate change has resulted in more frequent and prolonged "coral bleaching" events that damage their health, causing fish and other marine species to abandon them, a chain of events which scientists are now trying to reverse by blasting sound through underwater speakers near dying coral reefs to make them sound healthy again. New fish populations, including species from all parts of the food chain, as scavengers, herbivores and predatory fish.

Scientists know the quietness of damaged coral reefs is keeping fish away.

About the experiment, the researchers wrote they placed underwater loudspeakers playing sounds of healthy reefs in some patches of dead coral in the Great Barrier Reef.

The researchers labored from October by way of December 2017 in a lagoon within the northern a part of the Nice Barrier Reef that has a big, shallow reef that runs alongside the shoreline. The crackle of snapping shrimp and the whoops and grunts of fish combine to form a dazzling biological soundscape.

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"Healthy coral reefs are remarkably loud places".

He also suggested that further research would be needed, where the reefs are monitored for a longer period, to truly understand how the loudspeakers influenced the fish. "Juvenile fish home in on these sounds when they're looking for a place to settle", Simpson added.

"If combined with habitat restoration and other conservation measures", Professor Andy Radford said about the study, "Rebuilding fish communities in this manner might accelerate ecosystem recoveries".

"We still need to tackle a host of other threats including climate change, overfishing and water pollution in order to protect these fragile ecosystems", the paper's lead author, Tim Gordon, said.

In fact, fish clean reef and create spaces for new corals to grow while the speakers attract the fish to intensify those natural efforts.

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