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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 64:265-269 (2005)  -  doi:10.3354/dao064265

Macroparasites in stranded and bycaught harbour porpoises from German and Norwegian waters

K. Lehnert1,*, J. A. Raga2, U. Siebert1

1Forschungs- und Technologiezentrum Westkueste, Hafentoern, 25761 Buesum, Germany
2Marine Zoology Unit, Cavanilles Institute of Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology, University of Valencia, PO Box 22085, 46071 Valencia, Spain

ABSTRACT: Parasitological investigations were carried out on harbour porpoises Phocoena phocoena originating from 3 different areas: the German North Sea (28), the German Baltic (18) and Norwegian waters (22). The individuals were bycaught in gill-nets or found stranded during the period 1997 to 2000. A total of 7 species of parasites was identified from the investigated organs. These originated mainly from the respiratory tract and comprised 1 ascaridoid nematode (Anisakis simplex), 4 pseudaliid nematodes (Pseudalius inflexus, Torynurus convolutus, Halocercus invaginatus, Stenurus minor) and 2 trematodes (Campula oblonga, Pholeter gastrophilus). This is the first geographic record of H. invaginatus from German waters. Differences were found in the severity of the parasitic infection between stranded and bycaught animals as well as between porpoises from different areas. A correlation was shown between parasitic infection and observed lesions.

KEY WORDS: Harbour porpoise · Parasites · Respiratory tract · Pathology

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