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Noisy Fish

June 19, 2017

The loud noises made by spawning croakers could help fisheries manage their sensitive populations in Mexican waters.


FireShot Capture 145 - Corvina I Gulf Program_ -

(GC Marine Gulf Program)


Ear-splitting fish. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

(Corvina chorus)

This racket is the sound of noisy fish called gulf corvina fish spawning of noisy fish sex- the mating calls of gulf corvina.

TIMOTHY ROWELL (Scripps Institution of Oceanography):

And when you’re on the boat above a large school of gulf corvina making noise it sounds kind of like the background noise of a baseball stadium.


That’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography marine biologist Timothy Rowell. His team writes in Scientific Reports that the noise lets them estimate fish population size. First, they count the fish using more expensive and time-consuming sonar technology, and then compare the numbers to sounds made by the fish.


We can just take that sound level measurement and then convert that to a number of fish.


The technique could help fish harvesters ensure that this valuable fishery remains healthy. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Science Update staff