Universiteit Leiden Universiteit Leiden

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The noisy underwater world: the effect of sound on behaviour of captive zebrafish

Promotor: Carel J. ten Cate, Co-Promotor: Hans W. Slabbekoorn

Auteur Saeed Shafiei Sabet
Links Thesis in Leiden Repository

Over the past few decades, public attention, activities in the field of conservation and animal welfare by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and scientific exploration are raising awareness on the potential effects of sounds on marine mammals and fish species. The aim of this thesis was to explore sound-induced behavioral changes in fish using captive zebrafish as a model species. I explored behavioural parameters as potential indicators of sound-related stress, disturbance and deterrence. In four different studies, I examined various sound exposure treatments to provide insights that may be useful for future explorations for indoor and outdoor sound impact studies as well as for assessing animal welfare and productivity in captive situations. Furthermore, my findings may also raise awareness for sound levels in laboratories and the potential effect on reliability for fish as a model species for medical and pharmaceutical studies. I also explored the complexity of sound fields in indoor fish tanks by selecting a different set-up for each study, which makes behavioural analyses and direct comparisons not only relevant within each study, but also provides insight into the role of fish tank acoustics on ‘natural’ and experimental exposure condition.