Scuba Bubble Noise and Fish Behavior: A Rationale for Silent Diving Technology.

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Scuba Bubble Noise and Fish Behavior: A Rationale for Silent Diving Technology.

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Title: Scuba Bubble Noise and Fish Behavior: A Rationale for Silent Diving Technology.
Author: Lobel, PS
Abstract: Noises produced by open-circuit scuba are examined in relation to the frequency range of fish hearing and courtship/spawning associated sounds. Scuba bubbles produce both near-field water displacement and radiate a low energy broadband noise in the frequency range of about 115 to 400 Hz. The peak hearing sensitivity of many freshwater and marine fishes is in the range of 40 to 800Hz (the upper range is extended up to 10 KHz in hearing specialists, such as freshwater ostariophysian fishes. The dominant frequency of the sounds produced by many marine and freshwater fishes during courtship and spawning generally range between 175 to 700 Hz. When using standard open-circuit scuba, approximately 36 to 40 percent of dive time is dominated by bubble noise. Thus, use of a closed-circuit, bubble-free Rebreather (technical diving) not only increases the efficiency of the dive time spent making underwater acoustic recordings (tactical diving) but also alleviates a significant source of disturbance to the fishes being observed. Furthermore, rebreathers facilitate more rapid habituation of fish to a diver’s presence while also extending the bottom-time available for underwater study.
Description: American Academy of Underwater Sciences (http://www.aaus.org/)
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/9011
Date: 2005

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