Clownfish in serious danger from light pollution

Clownfish in serious danger from light pollution

A new scientific study from Flinders University (Australia) has found that the world's clownfish population may be in serious danger, since artificial light reaching coral reefs may be causing damage to small fish.

The main reason would be because this artificial light, which produces different types of light due to the profusion of constructions on the coast and the development of ports and docks, affect the conservation of the eggs of clown fish, which their reproductive capacity would be affected by this natural phenomenon.

Cruise ships and floating hotels also help illuminate the surface of the marine waters that attract so many tourists.

To find out the impact that artificial night light has on clownfish, the team of scientists tested in laboratories with ten breeding pairs, of which five, which constituted the control group, were exposed to a classical luminosity, with an alternation of day and night.

The aquariums of the other five pairs were illuminated from above at night with a moderate intensity LED light (between 25 and 28 lux), comparable to that which illuminates the surface of the ocean near the inhabited shores.

After the experiment, the experts determined that this generates a high hatching rate, a situation that means that no offspring of this small marine animal survive. Scientists seek to know why when the eggs are in the presence of light, they stop incubating, while if they are not with it closely, they return to incubation normally.

One of the main authors of the study, Dr. Emily Fobert, confirmed that all the test eggs which were concealed in the presence of this light were affected in their offspring, stating that “this finding is totally overwhelming, since the light pollution in the seabed can have a devastating effect on the reproductive success of fish that inhabit areas near coral reefs ”.

"The results reveal that increasing amounts of light have the potential to significantly reduce the reproductive capacity of reef fish that establish themselves in a habitat close to the coast," explains the scientist.

And he adds: "It is likely that these results could be extended to other reef fish, since they share similar reproductive behaviors, including the moment of hatching in the early hours of the night, compromising their natural reproductive cycle."

The clownfish is one of the fish that most lives in the reef areas and as the vast majority of these are close to urban settlements, its population could be dangerously affected if preventive measures are not taken to stop this situation.

Sources: dí

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