Science

The fish came back

The fish came back”

In a bid to revive this delicate ecosystem, scientists from the United Kingdom and Australia conducted a study that involved using speakers underwater near damaged coral reefs to make them sound healthy and attract fish, potentially kick-starting the natural recovery process of coral reefs and their dependent life forms.

A group of scientists are trying to "give new hope" to Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

A school of manini fish pass over a coral reef at Hanauma Bay in Honolulu on January 15, 2005.

But while the demise of coral reefs is a boon to parrotfish, the latest research suggests the hardy fish help reefs recover from bleaching by cleaning off the scunge. "Whilst we can't necessarily tell if exactly the same individuals remained, it is certainly true that there were increasing numbers of both individuals and of species across that time, so most likely those arriving were staying", Radford said.

The freakish thought has come from a brand new look for that quick placing underwater loudspeakers amongst the coral to intention contemporary marine life. 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.

Severe coral bleaching caused by extreme heat waves killed 50 percent of the Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef planets in 2016 and 2017. When reefs are degraded, they become ghostly quiet, and shrimps and fish disappear. "Juvenile fish hone in on these sounds when they're looking for a place to settle", said Steve Simpson, study co-author and a professor at the University of Exeter, UK. They then mounted underwater loudspeakers to the middle of the patches, angling them upward to make sure the sound was distributed in all instructions evenly.

Over 40 nights, the team played recordings of a healthy reef in some patches.

The researchers acknowledged that drawing fish again to lifeless or dying reefs is not going to reverse the harm by itself.

"They listen out for all the pops and grunts and whistles and chirps that you can hear from all the animals on a healthy coral reef and they swim towards those sounds".

Australian Institute of Marine Science fish biologist Mark Meekan noted that bringing fish won't bring the reef "back to life automatically", but it will aid in recovery, allowing it to be cleaned and "create space for corals to regrow". In a process called "acoustic enrichment", a team of scientists from the United Kingdom and Australia, used underwater speakers playing sounds of healthy reefs near the dying ones to lure young fish toward it.

The surprise finding came when researchers led by Perth-based Dr Brett Taylor of the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) looked at fish populations in severely bleached areas of two reefs - the Great Barrier Reef in the western Pacific and the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean.



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