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 Bioinvasion on the rise
15.02.2017 | Universität Konstanz

nachricht Litter Levels in the Depths of the Arctic are On the Rise
10.02.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

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: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Impacts of mass coral die-off on Indian Ocean reefs revealed

21.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Novel breast tomosynthesis technique reduces screening recall rate

21.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Use your Voice – and Smart Homes will “LISTEN”

21.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>