It has been a widely known concern that our planet’s coral reefs are dying at a rapid and increasing rate. This is a result of the warming ocean water from climate change as well as overfishing. This is also known as “bleaching,” or the death and/or abandonment of organisms from the reefs. Regardless if we can adjust climate change or not, once a reef is decimated, the likelihood of it’s revival is slim to none at best. Scientists have been struggling to find a way to recover any reef life. When all else fails, science has no choice but to turn to the unconventional, and even taboo.
When one thinks of the ocean, they may not necessarily correlate it with any sound. The fact is though that coral reefs have immense and diverse sounds pulsing through them. This creates a sense of home and ability to locate the reef for fish. When the reef dies, fish lose the ability to live in and find the reef, so therefore abandon it. BGR describes a reef as being an “acoustic beacon,” and when it dies off, fish have a hard time finding it. Even if the waters were to cool down, without the sound of the bustling reef, the fish have no way of knowing where the reef is.
Therefore, scientists hypothesized that if noise is the point of contact in order for fish to find and thrive in reefs, they need to artificially imitate the sounds emanated from a healthy reef in order to draw the fish back in to the damaged reefs. Scientists observed that in the places where underwater speakers where played, there was an increase of up to 50% of species showing up according to BGR. This is a promising and significant increase for the reefs, but there is much more to it. Scientists warn that this is only a part of the solution to a bigger problem. This needs to be combined with habitat restoration as well as other conservation methods in order to rebuild reef recovery. It’s going to be a long road, considering that 89% of the Great Barrier Reef is dead and dying. But luring fish back into this community is a great start, because they are responsible for maintenance such as cleaning the reefs and creating space for new reef life or regrowth.
Climate change is a very apparent and real problem that we as a global community need to address. If we can get the fish back to their coral reef homes, this is a great first step on the road to recovery. A small gesture goes a long way, and any small step counts. If you want to get involved in saving the coral reefs around the world, you can do so by donating to a number of donation sites. Let’s continue down the path of getting our fish friends back to their homes through the power of modern technology, we are on our way to recovery.