recent study by Dr. Steve Simpson and team from the United Kingdom’s
University of Bristol working at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia,
has shown that noise pollution can influence the judgment of young fish,
leading them away from the protection offered by their natural
The team built on previous findings that baby tropical
fish born at sea are able to return to protective coral reefs based on
sounds that are emitted from reef- dwelling organisms.
scientists thus introduced one group of baby damselfish to natural reef
sounds only and another to a combination of synthesized tones. Placing
the fish the following day into tube-shaped tanks that offered a choice
of direction, they observed that only the group with direct experience
ofthe natural sounds swam toward the reef; the other group was actually
repelled and would swim away.
Besides highlighting the grave
danger to young fish, who might mistakenly follow a ship out to sea
rather than traveling to where they could grow in safety, this study
also clearly demonstrates the persistent memory of fish in recalling
events from the day before.
Dr. Simpson’s team recommended more
stringent laws to protect reef areas from noise as well as interim
technologies such as “bubble curtains” in certain regions to create
insulation from potentially dangerous sounds.
Many thanks Dr.
Simpson and University of Bristol colleagues for these findings that
highlight both the intelligence and sensitivity of our aquatic
May we act responsibly and with respect to
protect their lives and the ecosystems that are vital to our own
survival. Supreme Master Ching Hai has many times reminded of the
unconditional love and necessary balance offered by our fellow beings in
all corners of the Earth, as during the following August 2009
videoconference in Thailand.
Supreme Master Ching Hai:
The animals are truly noble, gentle beings, selfless, and in harmony
with one another, the environment, and with Heaven. Their role has
always been since time immemorial to bring love and blessing to the
world with their pure presence. If we would only stop harming and
torturing them and killing them, and give them a chance to fulfill their
God-given mission, then our planet will be saved and will be kept in
They wait on the sidelines in full support of humans,
for the day they can be our friends again, truly, not our victims. On
that day of peacemaking between humans and animals, our eyes may begin
to be opened to our co-inhabitants’ true magnificent roles on Earth.