For the second year in a row I spent two weeks of summer 2019 with friends in the picturesque fishing town Amarynthos in Euboea, Greece. I’d loved my time here the previous year and was happy to return once again. On my first visit the year before, I had snorkeled almost everyday, discovering the wonderful coral reef that sat just a few metres offshore in front of the house we were staying in. I was amazed at just how richly diverse, clean and healthy the coral ecosystem was and just how little noise pollution there was underwater. I honestly didn’t think this type of healthy coral reef could be found in Europe.
Amongst the visual delights were beautiful sponges, large schools of fish, octopus, cuttlefish and even the odd seahorse. But what was equally impressive was the constant sounds coming from the reef. Knowing I would be back in the same place I made sure to bring my hydrophones with me this time. One afternoon I waded out until the sea was up to my waist and threw the pair of JRF Hydrophones either side of me. I was amazed at the intensity of snaps, pops and crackles I could here.
The hydrophones were sat on the reef bed at a shallow depth of about 1.5 metres. Amongst the sounds we hear Pistol Shrimps that use their claws to shoot a bubble bullet and stun their prey. There are also reef cleaner fish as well as the sounds of the coral itself.
This soundscape offers a fascinating and unique macro insight into a healthy coral reef ecosystem usually hidden to the human ear.