Researchers Use Loudspeakers to Attract Fish to Dying Coral Reefs

Have your favorite tunes ever drawn you closer to the speakers, or the stage of a concert?  It turns out that fish have the same response.

Fish are a vital part of the ecosystem surrounding coral reefs, but when the reefs die, the fish move on and take their circle of life with them.  Researchers have studied many ways to reinvigorate dead or dying reefs, such as grafting on more heat-tolerant reefs or simply transplanting reefs.  But that doesn’t do anything to restore the ecosystem.

Now they appear to have found a solution.

In a new paper published in Nature Communications, researchers discussed their ability to attract fish with loudspeakers playing sounds of fish eating, shrimp wriggling, and other sea life noises.  It’s not Springsteen or Bach, but it works.

Better yet, the fish tend to stick around.

Marine biologist and study author Stephen D. Simpson of the University of Exeter said in a statement:

“Juvenile fish home in on these sounds when they’re looking for a place to settle.”

The researchers call the technique “acoustic enrichment,” a term that every teen could learn to love.

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