Skin cancer found in fish near the Great Barrier Reef

Research has found the first occurrences of skin cancer in wild marine fish. The Australian Institute of Marine Science and Newcastle University conducted the study that found several cases of melanoma in coral trout that live near the Great Barrier Reef. Their location also happens to be directly below the largest known hole in the ozone layer.

According to Dr. Michael Sweet from Newcastle University the skin cancer found in the fish is almost exactly the same as the skin cancer cells that develop on human’s as well and likely is the result of the UV rays from the sun.

Dr. Sweet went on to explain that the individual fish that they looked at mostly had surface melanomas which means that the cancer had not spread from the skin into other areas of the fish, so outside of the skin lesions on the fish they were still pretty healthy.

He also added that while they will need to do more research to pinpoint exactly why these fish are developing skin cancer, they can eliminate things such as marine pollution and microbial pathogens making it likely that exposure to the UV radiation will likely be the cause.