Mortality due to a retained circle hook in a longfin mako shark

paperPublished online on 30. June 2014

Mortality due to a retained circle hook in a longfin mako shark Isurus paucus (Guitart-Manday)

D H Adams, J D Borucinska, K Maillett, K Whitburn, T E Sander


A female longfin mako shark Isurus paucus (Guitart-Manday, 1966) was found moribund on the Atlantic Ocean beach near Canaveral National Seashore, Florida; the shark died shortly after stranding. Macroscopic lesions included a partially healed bite mark on the left pectoral fin, a clefted snout, pericardial effusion and a pericardial mass surrounding a 12/0 circle fishing hook. The heart, pericardial mass, gills, ovary, oviduct, shell gland, epigonal organ, liver, kidney and intrarenal and interrenal glands were processed for histopathology and examined by brightfield microscopy. Microscopic examination revealed chronic proliferative and pyogranulomatous pericarditis and myocarditis with rhabdomyolysis, fibrosis and thrombosis; scant bacteria and multifocal granular deposits of iron were found intralesionally. In addition, acute, multifocal infarcts within the epigonal organ and gill filaments were found in association with emboli formed by necrocellular material. The ovary had high numbers of atretic follicles, and the liver had diffuse, severe hepatocellular degeneration, multifocal spongiosis and moderate numbers of melanomacrophage cells. This report provides evidence of direct mortality due to systemic lesions associated with retained fishing gear in a prohibited shark species. Due to the large numbers of sharks released from both recreational and commercial fisheries worldwide, impact of delayed post-release mortality on shark populations is an important consideration.

Journal of Fish Diseases, Early View Version, DOI: 10.1111/jfd.12277



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