Human noise pollution in oceans leading fish astray
Washington: Rising amount of human noise pollution in the ocean could lead fish away from good habitat and to their death, according to new research.
Baby tropical fish rely on natural noises to find the coral reefs where they can survive and thrive.
But the new study said that exposure to artificial noise makes fish become attracted to inappropriate sounds.
"Anthropogenic noise has increased dramatically in recent years, with small boats, shipping, drilling, pile driving and seismic testing now sometimes drowning out the natural sounds of fish and snapping shrimps,” said Dr Steve Simpson, Senior Researcher in the University of Bristol's School of Biological Sciences.
“Reef noise gives them vital information, but if they can learn, remember and become attracted towards the wrong sounds, we might be leading them in all the wrong directions," he added.
His experiment revealed that fishes could learn a new sound and remember it hours later, debunking the 3-second memory myth.
Becoming attracted to the wrong sounds could also affect populations and the replenishment of fish stocks.