Microphones listening in on Cayman Island’s endangered Nassau grouper

By on September 16, 2013

Nassau grouper (Credit: Rick Smit, via Wikimedia Commons)

Scientists at the UK’s Department of Environment are using specialized instruments to track fish at spawning sites in the Cayman Islands, Cayman News Service reported.

Hydrophone technology records the sounds that fish produce, making it less invasive than many other tracking methods, such as tagging. Scientists can even use the converted audio signal to determine how many members of certain species are present at a site. This can be particularly helpful in monitoring Nassau grouper and other elusive endangered species.

Audio is recorded at the spawning sites every five minutes, providing comprehensive data to scientists. Four hydrophones are operating around the islands, with a fifth to be deployed in the next few months.

Image: Nassau grouper (Credit: Rick Smit, via Wikimedia Commons)

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