#SoundtheAlarm, #KieranCox, #GlobalChangeBiology, #FrancisJuanes
Victoria (B.C.), Apr 4 (Canadian-Media): According to a new study entitled Sound the Alarm, led by the University of Victoria, reveals that besides plastics and oil aren't the only kind of pollution to have a negative impact on aquatic species. human-caused noise is also changing the ability of fish to forage, reproduce and avoid predators, media reports said.
"In terms of fish behaviour and physiology, it's negative responses across the board," said Kieran Cox, a doctoral student at the University of Victoria, British Columbia (B.C.).
The research conducted by the collaborative team, led by Cox and fish ecologist, Francis Juanes, was published in the peer-reviewed journal Global Change Biology.
They reviewed 42 studies involving human-caused underwater noise and its impact on fish.
Studies have already been conducted by researchers regarding the impact of underwater noise pollution on larger creatures like killer whales, but the research team says fish also pay a price for living in increasingly noisy waters.
Approximately 700 fish species reportedly use sound to communicate.
The researchers found that even the noise from a small boat motor can be disruptive.
"Their foraging behaviour, their perception of predation, all of these kinds of things are affected," said Cox.
And, just with like humans, unexpected noises can be frightening for fish.
"Stress in fish is going up, across species and across experimental conditions," he said.
Cox believes underwater noise pollution is a problem that needs more attention. The study found that noise in the ocean has been increasing steadily in the past few decades.
“We are only beginning to understand fish communication and the implications of anthropogenic noise,” says UVic biologist Francis Juanes, who is also the Liber Ero Chair in Fisheries Research. “It’s an understudied area that requires more research to determine the extent of the problem and potential solutions.”
More studies are underway, including research on the impact of noise on British Columbia's salmon populations.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada announced an investment of $3.1 million last week, which will reportedly help increase our understanding of the impact of underwater noise on our marine environment.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)