Some biological data on cetaceans populations present in the western coasts of Ireland

Sarrà Alarcón, Lídia
Ireland’s waters constitute one of the richest habitats for cetaceans in Europe. Marine mammals, particularly cetaceans, are known to be definitive hosts of digestive parasites from the Fm.Anisakidae. The main aim of this study is to collect and compile all the information available out there regarding parasites of the Fm. Anisakidae and their definitive hosts. Secondary objectives are to relate the presence of cetacean species with the presence of parasites of the Fm. Anisakidae and to determine whether this greater number of cetaceans relates to a greater level of parasitism. Prevalence and burdens of anisakids in definitive hosts vary widely with host species, geographic location, and season. Results from several post-mortem exams are given. However, they cannot be compared due to differences in collecting techniques. Anisakis simplex is the most commonly and widespread parasite found in the majority of the samples and in a major number of hosts, which include harbour porpoise, short-beaked common dolphin and bottlenose dolphin. Studies on harbour porpoise obtained prevalences of Anisakis spp. of 46% (n=26) and of 100% (n= 12). Another study in common dolphin reported a prevalence of 68% (n=25). Several reasons could influence the variations in the presence of Anisakis. Studies on commercially exploited fish have reported prevalences of Anisakis simplex ranging from 65-100% in wild Atlantic salmon and from 42-53.4% in Atlantic cod ​
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