While hooking up with foreigners isn’t really a big problem for the human species, for fish, the language of love is not so universal.
Scientists are worried that Cornish cod swimming up the coast of England to cooler waters in response to climate change won’t be able to breed or understand the Scouse cod in the northern waters. That’s because research shows that some fish actually speak in regional dialects, the Guardian reports.
According to professor Steve Simpson, a researcher at the University of Exeter, cod produce all kinds of weird sounds to attract a mate using their swimming bladders. Apparently, cod fish let out a series of growls and thumps at different frequencies to help the lady fish get excited to bone, kind of like a school of sexy, gilled-Miguels.
But because regional cod mate in isolated areas, scientists worry that the Cornish cod from the south won’t be able to woo the Scouse cod when they get up north, due to their different accents or whatever.
Environmental experts are also worried that humans—with their loud boat motors andvarious other marine activities—will drown out all the pillowtalk and make it harder for the two species to get it on and crack out some cod kids.
Simpson’s hoping the cod can learn to communicate with one another, so long as humans pipe down on the seas and stay out of traditional cod-breeding grounds. “We may find that the ‘gossip’ essential to their society is being drowned out,” he told theGuardian. “If we value our fish stocks—or our Friday night fish supper—we need to understand this.”