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Seismic air guns damage rock lobster mechanosensory organs and impair righting reflex


Day, RD and McCauley, RD and Fitzgibbon, QP and Hartmann, K and Semmens, JM, Seismic air guns damage rock lobster mechanosensory organs and impair righting reflex, Royal Society of London. Proceedings B, 286, (1907) Article 20191424. ISSN 0962-8452 (2019) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 The Authors

DOI: doi:10.1098/rspb.2019.1424


The effects of anthropogenic aquatic noise on marine invertebrates are poorly understood. We investigated the impact of seismic surveys on the righting reflex and statocyst morphology of the palinurid rock lobster, Jasus edwardsii, using field-based exposure to air gun signals. Following exposure equivalent to a full-scale commercial assay passing within 100–500 m, lobsters showed impaired righting and significant damage to the sensory hairs of the statocyst. Reflex impairment and statocyst damage persisted over the course of the experiments—up to 365 days post-exposure and did not improved following moulting. These results indicate that exposure to air gun signals caused morphological damage to the statocyst of rock lobsters, which can in turn impair complex reflexes. This damage and impairment adds further evidence that anthropogenic aquatic noise has the potential to harm invertebrates, necessitating a better understanding of possible ecological and economic impacts.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:southern rock lobster, Jasus edwardsii, seismic survey, statocyst, acoustic trauma, anthropogenic aquatic noise, sound pollution
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Zoology
Research Field:Zoology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - wild caught
Objective Field:Wild caught rock lobster
UTAS Author:Day, RD (Dr Ryan Day)
UTAS Author:Fitzgibbon, QP (Associate Professor Quinn Fitzgibbon)
UTAS Author:Hartmann, K (Dr Klaas Hartmann)
UTAS Author:Semmens, JM (Professor Jayson Semmens)
ID Code:134586
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:19
Deposited By:Fisheries and Aquaculture
Deposited On:2019-08-21
Last Modified:2020-05-25

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