back to list

Playing Healthy Reef Sounds Can Revive Dying Coral Reefs

The science behind how underwater loudspeakers can increase fish species


What's going on?

As the oceans warm due to climate change, the creatures living in them are affected in many ways – causing some of them to disappear. As a result, the majestic coral reefs that provided gorgeous backdrops for nature documentaries are also turning white and dead nowadays. However, a team of researchers have come up with a novel way of bringing ocean creatures back to help bring new life and rejuvenate the coral reefs.


With a simple theory that fishes are attracted to sound, the team experimented by playing recorded noises from a living coral reef from underwater loudspeakers. To their surprise, the results were incredibly successful as the total number of fish doubled, and the number of fish species increased by 50% compared to a dead reef that was left alone. While simply bringing back fishes will not restore the entire complex reef ecosystem, it is at least a small step in the right direction towards helping coral reefs to recover.


Naturally, it is far more urgent and vital to prevent coral reefs from dying as the ocean’s temperature rises and becomes more acidic due to the effect of carbon dioxide dissolving in them. Despite the positive result of the experiment, it is also assuring to know that coral reefs have begun adapting to living and thriving in warm water – which is a testament of nature finding its own way for survival.