Scientists used loudspeakers to make dead coral reefs sound healthy. Fish flocked to them.

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A mass coral spawning on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef on Nov. 16. Derek Hawkins

The desperate search for ways to help the world’s coral reefs rebound from the devastating effects of climate change has given rise to some radical solutions.

In the Caribbean, researchers are cultivating coral “nurseries” so they can reimplant fresh coral on degraded reefs. And in Hawaii, scientists are trying to specially breed corals to be more resilient against rising ocean temperatures.

On Friday, British and Australian researchers rolled out another unorthodox strategy they say could help restoration efforts: broadcasting the sounds of healthy reefs in dying ones.

In a six-week field experiment, researchers placed underwater loudspeakers in patches of dead coral in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and played audio recordings taken from healthy reefs. The goal was to see whether they could lure back the diverse communities of fish that are essential to counteracting reef degradation.

Continue reading… “Scientists used loudspeakers to make dead coral reefs sound healthy. Fish flocked to them.”

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