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Marine noise pollution stresses and confuses fish

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August 10, 2017 read full ScienceDaily article here

The fish also showed signs of being confused when they encountered a potential predator while exposed to these underwater noises. When researchers played recordings of piling sounds and mimicked an approaching predator, the seabass made more turns and failed to move away from the predator.

When exposed to drilling sounds the sea bass actively avoided these areas, spending more time in what the research team called the ‘safe zone’. The fish also took longer to recover from exposure to the underwater sounds.

Over the last few decades, the sea has become a very noisy place. The effects we saw were subtle changes, which may well have the potential to disrupt the seabass’s ability to remain ‘in tune’ with its environment....

Ilaria Spiga, Nicholas Aldred, Gary S. Caldwell. Anthropogenic noise compromises the anti-predator behaviour of the European seabass, Dicentrarchus labrax (L.). Marine Pollution Bulletin, 2017; 122 (1-2): 297 DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.06.067

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