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Muscle melanisation of southern sand flathead (Platycephalus bassensis) in the Tamar Estuary, Tasmania, Australia


Stocker, CW and Haddy, J and Lyle, J and Nowak, BF, Muscle melanisation of southern sand flathead (Platycephalus bassensis) in the Tamar Estuary, Tasmania, Australia, Environmental Pollution, 256 Article 113452. ISSN 0269-7491 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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© 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2019.113452


Tasmanian recreational fishers have reported the presence of dark pigmentations in the usually white fillets of southern sand flathead (Platycephalus bassensis), a phenomenon known as muscle melanisation. Based on histology, it is suggested that eumelanin and pheomelanin are involved in the occurrence of the phenomenon. A gross melanisation scoring system was validated through a comparison with an image analysis technique, that quantified the percentage surface area of the fillets affected by muscle melanisation. The occurrence of muscle melanisation was most severe in fish inhabiting Deceitful Cove, Tamar Estuary. This indicated that muscle melanisation in P. bassensis may be caused by yet to be identified site specific factors. No significant relationships were evident between the percentage surface area of melanised muscle with condition index, age, sex, maturation stage, fish weight, fish length and size of melano-macrophage centres in the liver or spleen. Overall, this study has provided critical information that will frame the direction and focus of future P. bassensis muscle melanisation research.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:muscle melanisation, melnomacrophage centres, melanin, Tamar estuary, Southern sand flathead
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Fish pests and diseases
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - wild caught
Objective Field:Fisheries - recreational freshwater
UTAS Author:Stocker, CW (Mr Clayton Stocker)
UTAS Author:Haddy, J (Dr James Haddy)
UTAS Author:Lyle, J (Associate Professor Jeremy Lyle)
UTAS Author:Nowak, BF (Professor Barbara Nowak)
ID Code:136322
Year Published:2020
Deposited By:Fisheries and Aquaculture
Deposited On:2019-12-15
Last Modified:2020-12-01

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