Wildlife Wednesdays: Skin Disease In Sharks | weatherology°
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By: Meteorologist Megan Mulford
Updated: Jul 21st 2021

Wildlife Wednesdays: Skin Disease In Sharks

Deep sea divers off the coast of Malaysia's Sipadan Island have noticed recently sharks with lesions on their heads. So far trapping these infected sharks have not been successful and a scientific study is yet to completed. According to a marine expert, the lesions "appear to be ulcers from a fungal infection that has roots in warmer sea temperatures." “Immunocompromised conditions can be brought about by changes in the environment such as temperature, salinity, pH, pollution etc.,” aquatic medicine specialist Mohamed Shariff Mohamed Din mentioned. He goes onto mention that the warmer waters that are causing this fungal disease is also bleaching the corals. 

Sadly, sea surface temperatures around the island in May of this year was at 85.1 degrees Fahrenheit (29.5 degrees Celsius). This is an increase of 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit since 1985! “We can almost certainly pin the warming ocean as having a role in what we are seeing with the sickly sharks in Sipadan,” Davies Austin Spiji, a marine biologist with nonprofit conservation group Reef Guardian, told Reuters.

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Skin disease in sharks as a result of climate change Pic source: CNN
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Sea temps have rose almost 2 degrees since the 80's!