As well as working on my PhD, I’m also lucky enough to be involved in other projects at the Centre for Marine Science and Technology (CMST) from time-to-time. Now the results from one of these projects have been published in the ICES Journal of Marine Science.
A couple of years ago, I was asked to review acoustic data from Darwin Harbour, in the Northern Territory of Australia. I’ve written before about the variety of sounds produced by fish, and in the Darwin data we found oodles of different fish choruses. Fish sounds can be species and size specific, and such en masse sound production often has behavioural associations, for example by corresponding with feeding or reproduction.
So there is a lot of information to be gained by listening in on fish!
In this paper, we recorded nine different types of fish choruses and investigate their patterns of occurrence. Environmental conditions such as lunar patterns, time of sunset, temperature, tidal information and salinity levels all contributed to the context of when particular choruses were heard. These results are useful not only to scientists but also to fisheries managers, as it provides improved knowledge regarding species distribution, fish habitat-use, identifies spawning seasons, and monitors behaviour. Which, when you can’t see fish below the surface, is often difficult data to collect!
The full paper (doi: 10.1093/icesjms/fsw037) is available here.