Loud Orgies Of Mexican Fish Concern Scientists, Could Damage Dolphins’ Hearing
Photo: FocalFrenzy (Getty)
No one would ever argue against nature’s reproductive orgies … unless they straight up damage other marine life while turning an entire economy on its head.
A species of Mexican fish known as the Gulf Corvina is known to be the loudest fish in the sea. Located in the Gulf of California between Mexico and the Baja Peninsula, the fish gather near the Colorado River Delta to within one percent of their entire coverage area, just so they can get it on.
— GoC Marine Program (@GCMarineProgram) May 12, 2017
The downside? The mating call from just one male Gulf Corvina during this massive orgy sounds like a “really loud machine gun,” capable of deafening other sea animals including dolphins, seals and sea lions (oh my!).
And when hundreds of thousands of fish get together to spawn once a year “the collective chorus sounds like a crowd cheering at a stadium or perhaps a really loud beehive”, said study co-author Timothy Rowell from the University of San Diego.
“The sound levels generated by chorusing is loud enough to cause at least temporary if not permanent hearing loss in marine mammals that were observed preying on the fish.
“These spawning events are among the loudest wildlife events found on planet Earth,” Rowell said, and “the loudest sound ever recorded for a fish species.”
And oh yea, because millions of them gather in the same spot each year, they’re an easy kill, and therefore are being over-fished.
Not only is the Gulf Corvina vulnerable to extinction, but each year millions are wasted into landfills shortly after being caught. Too many fish are caught in a short amount of time, so within hours the market price for the fish plummets and is eventually worthless.
So scientists want to save the fish but they also don’t want them to blow out the eardrums of Flipper. It also doesn’t appear Mexican fisherman will be stopping their expeditions for the Gulf Corvina any time soon.
One solution? The fish could simply knock it off with the mating call from hell. Whatever happened to keeping it simple??