Scientists keep an ear on coral reef health by monitoring ocean sounds off Indonesian coast

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Scientists have been tracking the health of coral reefs off Indonesia by using what is known as Passive Acoustic Monitoring, where underwater microphones called hydrophones record underwater sounds. The team of researchers from the United Kingdom use a computer algorithm to read the audio clips that helps them determine whether the reef is healthy or degraded. Degraded coral reefs sound less lively because of reduced biodiversity and activity. The scientists published their findings in the Ecological Indicators Journal in December 2021, and now hope to bring the technology to help reef conservation and restoration projects in waters off Mexico, Australia and the Virgin Islands.

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