Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Acoustic Monitoring of Atlantic Cod Reveals Clues to Spawning Behavior

25.03.2013
For decades researchers have recorded sounds from whales and other marine mammals, using a variety of methods including passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) to better understand how these animals use sound to interact with each other and with the environment. Now, for the first time, researchers report using this technology to record spawning cod in the wild.

Acoustic behavior in cod has been of interest for several decades, but few studies have observed their use of sound as part of reproductive behavior. Although both sexes produce low frequency "grunts", only male Atlantic cod make this sound during spawning season.

Researchers from NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) and their colleagues from the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF), Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (SBNMS), School of Marine Science & Technology at UMass Dartmouth (SMAST), and Cornell University's Bioacoustics Research Program recently reported their findings, online, in the ICES Journal of Marine Science.

"Few current coastal cod spawning sites are known, especially given historical data that indicate many cod spawning sites once existed along the New England coast. Passive acoustics makes locating potential sites much easier." said study co-author Sofie Van Parijs, who heads the passive acoustics group at NOAA Fisheries’ Woods Hole Laboratory.

The findings have implications for conservation and management of this iconic species and possibly for other recreational and commercial fish species. Species in more than 100 families of fish are known to produce sounds. The cod family contains several sound-producing species, including haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus), pollock (Pollachius virens) and Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua).

The researchers report on a 2011 pilot study in northern Massachusetts Bay. A single marine autonomous recording unit (MARU) was deployed at a depth of 51 meters (168 feet) within a seasonal fishery closure area established to protect a coastal cod spawning aggregation.

The MARU recorded continuously for 75 days during the spring spawning season, with the acoustic sounds confirmed as cod grunts. Cod were also captured in the vicinity of the MARU as part of a tagging study being conducted concurrenty at that time by the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) confirming that cod were present.

Male cod grunts were recorded on 98 percent of the recording days. The grunts, were most often heard during daylight hours, and were most common in late May and early June. The MARU was deployed from April 14 through June 27

“We acoustically captured the start of the 2011 spawning period but not the end,” said Van Parijs. “Future deployments of multiple MARUs over larger areas and in conjunction with tagging studies could help determine movement patterns of cod in the spring, and give a better picture of how cod are distributed within the spawning protection area. In addition, underwater cameras could provide insight into the structure of the spawning aggregation.”

Atlantic cod are known to gather in high concentrations in very small areas to spawn, sometimes forming vertical columns or “haystacks”. They often return to the same location to spawn, a behavior known as spawning site fidelity.

In the spring of 2012, the researchers deployed an array of nine MARUs in the same area as the 2011 pilot study to record cod acoustics through an entire spawning season and over a larger area.

Lead study author Keith Hernandez, formerly a researcher in Van Parijs’ group at NEFSC and now a graduate student at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in California, says human-produced sounds might mask cod grunts in coastal areas with high human activity, an issue of concern since grunts and other sounds can be used to advertise for females and warn off competitors.

The next steps for passive acoustic monitoring are to explore the size and extent of known cod aggregations, and to locate other spawning aggregations in the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank region. Researchers also need to determine if the grunt data can be used to develop an index of relative cod abundance.

“We’re already looking at the acoustic data we’ve collected from other projects in the region, including the Ocean Noise Budget in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and other offshore monitoring studies,” said Van Parijs. “We continue to work with colleagues at the Mass DMF, whose cod tagging studies contribute core information and complement federal efforts.”

The study was funded by NOAA’s Ocean Acoustics Program.

NOAA Fisheries Service is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nation's living marine resources and their habitat through scientific research, management and enforcement. NOAA Fisheries Service provides effective stewardship of these resources for the benefit of the nation, supporting coastal communities that depend upon them, and helping to provide safe and healthy seafood to consumers and recreational opportunities for the American public.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter and our other social media channels.

Shelley Dawicki | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.noaa.gov

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht The disappearance of common species
01.02.2018 | Technical University of Munich (TUM)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

Im Focus: Autonomous 3D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes

Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).

Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement

16.02.2018 | Information Technology

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers

16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>