These Fish Owe Their Neighbor Dolphins an Apology!

Khryss | Published 2017-12-29 11:50

Why do you have to bang each other so loudly?!

Fair warning: this is an article about what is probably the loudest orgy in the animal kingdom.

Every year in the Gulf of California, millions of Gulf corvina gather to reproduce. This should actually be none of our business, however, they just can't seem to keep the noise for themselves. You see, fish reproduce by spawning . That is, females release a loooot of unfertilized eggs into the water and males would release millions of sperm to fertilize them.

But first, male fish had to create a mating call; and this is where they disturb neighbors. According to researchers, the call sounds pretty much like a “really loud machine gun”. “These spawning events are among the loudest wildlife events found on planet Earth,” study co-author Timothy Rowell told The Guardian.

It is so loud that it could easily cause marine mammals, like dolphins and sea lions, to go temporarily, if not permanently,  deaf! And we're not talking about tiny fish--they can grow about a meter (3.3 feet) and weigh up to 12 kilograms (26 pounds).

The calls also catch the attention of fishermen. The pulsing sound can reverberate off the bottom of small boats. With this, just one net can catch around 2 tonnes of fish. And they usually put 500 nets into the water!

Despite this, researchers believe that this deafening mating calls can be used for good: this can help conservationists in monitoring populations. "Over-harvesting from the aggregation site could result in the functional extinction of the species in the ecosystem, which would have negative effects on the local economy and cause the fishery to collapse," Rowell said in a statement. "This is why sustainable harvest levels need to be set.”

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