Skin cancer found in reef fish
For the first time, scientists have identified widespread skin cancer on an important reef fish species. The Coral Trout (Plectropomus leopardus) was the center of a study conducted by the Newcastle University and the Australian Institute of Marine Science collecting specimens from the southern portion of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park: Heron Island and One Tree Island.
"The individuals we looked at had extensive -- but only surface -- melanomas," explains Doctor Michael Sweet who led a team that studied 136 sample fish. “UV radiation appears to be the likely cause," explains Dr. Sweet. Of the136 specimens, 15% (20 fish) exhibited melanomas lesions on surface of their skin covering from 5% to 98% of their body.