Deep-water marine fish living on the continental slopes at depths from 2,000 feet to one mile have liver pathologies, tumors and other health problems that may be linked to human-caused pollution, one of the first studies of its type has found.
The research, conducted in the Bay of Biscay west of France, also discovered the first case of a deep water fish species with an “intersex” condition, a blend of male and female sex organs. The sampling was done in an area with no apparent point-source pollution, and appears to reflect general ocean conditions.
The findings have been published in Marine Environmental Research, by scientists from Oregon State University; the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science in the United Kingdom; and other agencies. It was supported by the European Union.
The research is of particular interest, OSU researchers said, when contrasted to other studies done several years ago in national parks of the American West, which also found significant pollution and fish health impacts, including male fish that had been “feminized” and developed eggs.
“In areas ranging from pristine, high mountain lakes of the United States to ocean waters off the coasts of France and Spain, we’ve now found evidence of possible human-caused pollution that’s bad enough to have pathological impacts on fish,” said Michael Kent, a professor of microbiology in the OSU College of Science, co-author on both these research projects and an international expert on fish disease.
“Deep in the ocean one might have thought that the level of contamination and its biological impact would be less,” Kent said. “That may not be the case. The pathological changes we’re seeing are clearly the type associated with exposure to toxins and carcinogens.”
However, linking these changes in the deep water fish to pollution is preliminary at this time, the researchers said, because these same changes may also be caused by naturally-occurring compounds. Follow up chemical analyses would provide more conclusive links with the pathological changes and man’s activity, they said.
Few, if any health surveys of this type have been done on the fish living on the continental slopes, the researchers said. Most past studies have looked only at their parasite fauna, not more internal biological problems such as liver damage. The issues are important, however, since there’s growing interest in these areas as a fisheries resource, as other fisheries on the shallower continental shelf become depleted.
As the sea deepens along these continental slopes, it’s been known that it can act as a sink for heavy metal contaminants such as mercury, cadmium and lead, and organic contaminants such as PCBs and pesticides. Some of the “intersex” fish that have been discovered elsewhere are also believed to have mutated sex organs caused by “endocrine disrupting chemicals” that can mimic estrogens.
In this study, the health concerns identified were found in black scabbardfish, orange roughy, greater forkbeard and other less-well-known species, and included a wide range of degenerative and inflammatory lesions that indicate a host response to pathogens, as well as natural cell turnover. The fish that live in these deep water, sloping regions usually grow slowly, live near the seafloor, and mature at a relatively old age. Some can live to be 100 years old.
Partly because of that longevity, the fish have the capacity to bioaccumulate toxicants, which the researchers said in their report “may be a significant human health issue if those species are destined for human consumption.” Organic pollutants in such species may be 10-17 times higher than those found in fish from the continental shelf, the study noted, with the highest level of contaminants in the deepest-dwelling fish.
The Latest on: Ocean fish
via Google News
The Latest on: Ocean fish
Warnings over new law to protect workers in Thai fishing industry
on May 23, 2019 at 7:16 am
"Minors on fishing boats at sea is dangerous. The Thai government should not follow (the convention) in that instance," Siamhan said. "This needs to be clarified because it can create confusion ... […]
2 Maryland Fishing Records Set For 'Monster' White Hake, Catfish
on May 23, 2019 at 7:08 am
Brian Gay of Millsboro, Delaware, was fishing for sea bass in roughly 280 feet of water 50 miles off the coast in Poor Man's Canyon when he felt the bite. He caught the 16.71-pound white hake ... […]
Plastic poisons ocean bacteria that produce 10% of the world’s oxygen and prop up the marine food chain
on May 23, 2019 at 6:24 am
It’s hard to miss the devastating images of whales and sea birds that have died with their ... ranging from reduced reproduction rates and egg hatching in fish, to hormone imbalances, reduced ... […]
Sea dragons, human compost, Lego dinosaurs: News from around our 50 states
on May 22, 2019 at 10:02 pm
An official with the Commercial Fisheries Division of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game says 16 aquatic farming operations ... is believed to be one of the world’s largest habitats for sea ... […]
Tasty, fun and cheap: It's easy to see why Wisconsin is hooked on Friday fish fries
on May 22, 2019 at 5:16 am
But in Wisconsin, fish fries are a Friday night ritual that became popular ... fry master Evan Christiansen uses a different brew in the batter for the wild-caught Bering Sea cod ($13.99). Jay ... […]
Big win for Kenya’s Coast Guard as it arrests 20 suspected Indian Ocean fish thieves
on May 21, 2019 at 4:28 am
- It aimed to fight illegal fishing, combat piracy and guard Kenya’s waters against smuggling and drug trafficking. President Uhuru Kenyatta’s launch of the country’s first-ever coastguard ago has ... […]
How Bumble Bee Foods And SAP Use Blockchain Technology To Track Fresh Fish From Ocean To Table
on May 17, 2019 at 5:05 pm
Shoppers buying Bumble Bee branded tuna later this year will be able to take advantage of blockchain technology to ensure the fish they are buying is fresh and from a sustainable source. As ... […]
Ocean fishing is the best of both worlds — a day away from civilization, but back home by bedtime
on May 17, 2019 at 10:58 am
Above the dark line of the water, a single white mountain looked ghost-like on the horizon. My thoughts drifted the distance from the boat to the peak. Ocean fishing, much like hunting in the ... […]
Sea of Thieves Hunter's Call: The complete guide to cooking fish and food
on May 16, 2019 at 2:35 am
The newest update of Sea of Thieves, The Hunter's Call, brought with it the ability to fish, cook, and hunt! With all of these new options, there is a whole slew of information to learn about. Which ... […]
Sea of Thieves Fishing | How to fish
on May 15, 2019 at 12:31 pm
The first thing you’ll need to do to start fishing in Sea of Thieves is equip your fishing rod. Thankfully you won’t need to go searching for this item, as it will automatically be available in your ... […]
via Bing News