Lesions were present on approximately 15% of the sampled population of Plectropomus leopardus; a) affected individual showing <10% coverage of body surface; b) P. leopardus with almost complete coverage >90%; c) healthy tissue under light microscope and d) the lesion. Scale bars = 20 µm. (Credit: Sweet et al; PLoS One, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0041989.g001)
ScienceDaily (Aug. 1, 2012) — Widespread skin cancer has been identified for the first time in wild marine fish populations, new research has shown.
A collaborative study between Newcastle University and the Australian Institute of Marine Science published August 2 in the academic journal PLoS ONE -- reveals the incidence of melanoma in the coral trout, a species found on the Great Barrier Reef and directly beneath the world's largest hole in the ozone layer.
This is the first time skin cancer has been diagnosed in wild fish populations and the team, led by Newcastle University's Dr Michael Sweet, say the appearance of the melanoma is almost identical to that found in humans.