Published on June 30th, 2013 | by James Ayre


Boat Noise Disrupts Orientation Behavior In Fish — Prevents Them From Finding Home

June 30th, 2013 by

The noise that’s caused by boats disrupts orientation behaviour in larval coral reef fish — preventing them from finding their way home, according to new research from the University of Bristol, the University of Exeter, and the University of Liège.

Image Credit: Reef via Flickr CC</em Image Credit: Reef via Flickr CCUniversity of Bristol press release explains how the research was done:

The study used controlled field experiments with settlement stage coral reef fish larvae. Larvae in a long plastic tube could decide to swim towards or away from a speaker playing back different sounds. In ambient noise equal numbers of fish were found in each section of the tube and in reef noise most fish swam towards the sound. But when boat noise was played along with reef noise more fish swam away from the sound than in reef noise alone.

Co-author, Dr Andy Radford from the University of Bristol, said: “This is the first indication that noise pollution can affect orientation behaviour during the critical settlement stage. Growing evidence for the impact of noise on fish suggests that consideration should be given to the regulation of human activities in protected areas.”

The research is published in Marine Ecology Progress Series.

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About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

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