January 14, 2014
The Atlantic male cod, it seems, is rather vocal when it comes to love.
And that just might help researchers determine the exact timing and locale of its winter spawning season and the actual size of the species stock.
Marine researchers from The Nature Conservancy, as well fishermen and scientists from UMass-Dartmouth and state and federal fishing agencies, have embarked on a research program to figure out exactly where and when the Atlantic cod are spawning along Massachusetts’ South Shore, with the goal of protecting spawning areas to help the groundfish species rebuild its stock to more sustainable levels.
The collaborative program embraces high technology and exploits the male cod’s low urges. Given that combination, how this research program has not been cast as a reality show is anybody’s guess.
“We’re using underwater hydrophones that are recording sound in the water,” said Chris McGuire, the Boston-based marine program director for The Nature Conservancy. “They are recording the sounds that cod make while they are spawning. They make this grunting sound.”