Scientists at the Caribbean Coral Reef Institute at the University of Puerto Rico identified locations and size of reef fish spawning aggregations by the sounds they make. The success of many commercially valuable species in the Caribbean requires annual spawning aggregations of reef fishes; aggregation behavior creates extreme vulnerability to overfishing.
The scientists developed a passive acoustic technique that triangulate fish-produced sounds to quantitatively assess their densities to ascertain the spawning aggregations' timing and location. This research technique could aid development of management strategies of fish species in coral reefs and also research on poorly understood intermediate depth mesophotic coral ecosystems.
This research was funded by NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science.
For much more in-depth information, read the original research paper "Sound production as an indicator of red hind density at a spawning aggregation " in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series.