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Loud fish orgies could make dolphins deaf, say scientists

Scientists warned for a sort of Mexican fish can cause damage to the dolphin hearing through the loud sound that they make during the mating.

(Reuters)

A sort of Mexican fish makes a lot of noise when they are in mass reproductive orgies in the vicinity of marine mammals may be in danger of losing their hearing, scientists have warned.

Scientists Brad E. Erisman, and Timothy J. Rowell wrote in a report for Biology Letters that the Gulf corvina, a species of Mexican fish, brings a sound so loud during mating is that it looks like “a really loud machine gun with multiple high-speed noise pulses.”

Once a year, hundreds of thousands of Golf corvinas get together and mate, making a noise that sounds like a cheering crowd in a stadium or perhaps a very hard beehive,” Rowell, of the University of San Diego, wrote in the report.

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Rowell and Erisman, of the University of Texas, found the sounds can damage the hearing of nearby marine mammals that normally prey on the fish. Marine mammals such as dolphins, seals and sea lions were in danger.

“The sound generated by the chorus is loud enough to cause at least temporary if not permanent hearing loss in marine mammals which were observed preying on the fish,” Rowell wrote.

The scientists warned the Gulf corvina may be overfished.

(Reuters)

“These spawning events are among the loudest wildlife events found on the planet Earth,” Rowell said, and “the loudest sound ever recorded for a species of fish.”

The scientists examined the sounds using sound gear specially designed for underwater purposes only to hear that the fish mate. Millions of fish travel each year to the Colorado River Delta in mexico’s Gulf of California for the “spawning aggregation.”

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The collection of adult corvinas also attract anglers, who can catch about two tons of the fish with a net, The Guardian reported. The fishermen were able to locate the fish by their loud sounds, Newser reported.

However, the International Union for Conservation of Nature reported the corvinas are “vulnerable to extinction” as a result of overfishing.

Rowell and Erisman, wrote in a report earlier this year that the mating calls can help them to determine how much of the corvinas were in the wild, and if they are likely to be threatened. The scientists said they are also proof of the corvina population shrinks.

“A preventive approach should be adopted by fisheries managers to ensure that this wildlife spectacle not go away,” Rowell said.

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