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Loudspeakers used to make dead coral reefs sound healthy, so fish flock to them (washingtonpost.com)
69 points by jrs235 9 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 20 comments

Doesn't this just result in more dead fish, starved to death, because they spent all their energy flocking to a reef that can't sustain them?

Perhaps that's what helps the reef to recover - it attracts fish that die and feed the local ecosystem that way until it can grow again.

That's dark. Might be simpler just to dump nutrients over the side, then.

Or dump nutrients and start the iPod a few months later

Up next: robotic fish used to make dead coral reefs look healthy, so tourists flock to them.

Related: https://www.dw.com/en/great-barrier-reef-last-chance-tourist...

"Plastic corals look like realistic corals from the mid 21st century!"

I have to say, some of those ancient artifacts you can buy made out of resin are pretty cool.

I highly recommend glide baits if you want to go fishing but there aren't any fish to catch.

But for how long? Won't the fish see through this ruse soon enough?

Never. Pacific salmon released in the Atlantic (or was it the other way around?) were touted as an ecological disaster. But they mistook the gravel bottom for their normal food supply, ate rocks until they sank, and all died.

Fish are not master tacticians. More like a bug with fins.

Have a citation for this? Sounds fascinating.

Niece at Thanksgiving - PhD fisheries and policy. I can ask her.

The issue hit the news when it happened: Ecological disaster! Salmon stocks at risk! Then when nothing happened, it wasn't news. So folks still cite this 'disaster' like it still actually happened.

This sounds like a bad idea.

>The researchers acknowledged that drawing fish back to dead or dying reefs will not reverse the damage by itself. But degraded reefs have a better shot at recovery if they have robust populations of fish, which play a variety of roles in keeping the coral healthy.

Welcome to the coral ghetto!

Yes. Really seems like the sort of thing that could lead to unintended consequences. But it's interesting that they showed that fish can hear sounds of other fish and shrimp from a great distance away to find good places to explore and live.

Before rolling out these speakers on a wide scale it really needs intense study on a small scale to see if this will actually rejuvenate the reef or whether instead it just ends up destroying the viability of juvenile fish. The fish are attracted to shrimp sounds because they eat shrimp. But there are no shrimp on the dead reef. Are shrimp also attracted to the loudspeakers? Apparently not since that was not mentioned in the study. So fish go to a place with no shrimp because they hear shrimp.

> Reefs become ghostly quiet when they are degraded, as the shrimps and fish disappear, but by using loudspeakers to restore this lost soundscape, we can attract young fish back again.

This statement about their great desire to attract young fish to fix the dead reef reminds me a lot of the efforts to attract young people back to abandoned dead cities like Detroit which need the tax base to pay its high taxes and large metro bureaucracy expenses that they are unwilling to scale back. But there's still no massive numbers of manufacturing or other jobs for young people in Detroit, so young people that fall for the lure and move to a dead city see their youth squandered and career potential die. Similar to these fish who are expected to magically repair the dead reef but never get paid in actual shrimp they need to survive. In both cases the real solution is to fix the right thing. If you can get shrimp to return to the reef the fish will follow. If you can get car manufacturing or other giant jobs providers back to Detroit then the young will follow. Both those tasks are significantly harder (perhaps impossible) than just trying to lure youth to a dead city. So obviously the focus is on the easy thing. Try to lure youth and ignore that there is nothing for them there, that can be their problem.

So, this could also be used to catch the fish?

Like buying Yelp reviews, but for the environment.

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