Cutaneous lesions and body traumata observed in humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) off northern S?o Paulo state coast, Brazil, 2016-2020: everything is not alright
J?lio Cardoso, Tammy Iwasa-Arai, Arlaine Francisco, Shirley P. de Souza, Aline Athayde, S?rgio C. Moreira, and Salvatore Siciliano
The Brazilian coast is occupied every year by humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) from the breeding stock A “BSA”. Their presence peaks from August to October and then migrate to feed off South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, in subantarctic waters. The coast of São Paulo state, southeastern Brazil, receives a portion of this migrating contingent, where humpback whales were recently observed in apparent feeding events and with negative interactions with fishing gear. The purpose of this document is to present evidence that some humpback whales can be affected by the poor water quality present along the heavily polluted coast of São Paulo state. They may be immunosuppressed, and this condition may favor the rapid development of bacterial and fungal infection on skin (and probably other organs), as the photographs indicate. Other data on epibiosis and abnormal hypopigmentation and traumata are also presented. Further studies on the etiology of the skin condition are highly required and could elucidate the causes of these disorders.