Short profile


FishEthoScore of the species

Abbreviated assessment of the species' likelihood and potential for fish welfare in aquaculture, based on ethological findings for 10 crucial criteria.

Criteria Li Po Ce
1 Home range ? ?
2 Depth range
3 Migration
4 Reproduction
5 Aggregation ? ?
6 Aggression / / /
7 Substrate
8 Stress / / /
9 Malformation ? ?
10 Slaughter / / /
FishEthoScore 0 2 0
Li = Likelihood that the individuals of the species experience welfare under minimal farming conditions
Po = Potential overall potential of the individuals of the species to experience welfare under improved farming conditions
Ce = Certainty of our findings in Likelihood and Potential
 
                    ?     /  
  High    Medium     Low     Unclear  No findings
 
FishEthoScore = Sum of criteria scoring "High" (max. 10)



General remarks

Misgurnus anguillicaudatus is a freshwater fish species native to Asia that is popularly cultured in many East Asian countries. The increasing demand for this coolwater species has caused a major decline in the natural populations. M. anguillicaudatus, which is also used as live bait and a popular ornamental fish, was already introduced in European and North American countries, besides other countries like Australia. It is a fish species with a high invasive potential, and adverse ecological impact after introduction was already registered. M. anguillicaudatus is a demersal fish with natural polyploid individuals that is found in streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, ditches, swamps, and ricefields, usually preferring muddy bottoms, where it can hide in the muck and leaf litter. This fish is considered a fast-growing species with a flexible omnivorous diet and a great tolerance to hypoxia (it can use atmosphere oxygen for respiration), thermal variation, and high stocking density. It has a great commercial demand, with a high-grade nutritious meat that is tender and flavourful, and also a medical value, especially for Chinese medicine. Despite its commercial importance, relevant information about home range, aggression, and aggregation in natural conditions is still missing for this species. Moreover, further research about many information under farming conditions like substrate use, stress response, malformations, aggression, and the stunning and slaughtering process is needed.


1. Are minimal farming conditions likely to provide the home range of the species? What overall welfare potential can be achieved? How certain are these findings?

?
Likelihood
?
Potential
L
Certainty

LARVAE and FRYWILD: no data found yetFARM: tanks: 1.3 m2 (2.2 x 0.6 m) [1], 100 L [2] [3] [4].

JUVENILESWILD: no data found yetFARM: tanks: 1.3 m2 (2.2 x 0.6 m) [1]; imitative ecological farming pond: 667 m[5].

ADULTSWILD: no data found yetFARM: imitative ecological farming pond: 667 m[5].

SPAWNERSWILD: ricefields: ~976 m2 [6] with unclear home range use. FARM: cement ponds: 3.2 m2 [7].


2. Are minimal farming conditions likely to provide the depth range of the species? What overall welfare potential can be achieved? How certain are these findings?

L
Likelihood
H
Potential
M
Certainty

LARVAE and FRYWILD: no data found yet. FARM: tanks: 0.4 m, demersal habit: settle on the bottom or attach to the tank wall [1]LAB: PLANKTONIC stage before metamorphosis: newly hatched IND mostly settled to the bottom of tank, swam in different water levels at day 1, swam near the surface and in the middle level of the water column at day 3, scattered on the bottom after day 8, and spread in the water column at day 18-20 [8].

JUVENILESWILD: ditches: 0.1-0.4 m [9] [10] [6] [11]; streams: 0.1-0.8 m [9] [6]; lake: mean 4 m [12] with unclear depth range use. Non-native waters: streams: shallow swamp zones [13], margins of <1.2 m [14]; 0.1-1.5 m [15] [16]FARM: tanks: 0.4 m, demersal habit [1]LAB: benthic stage after metamorphosis (from day 23-25 post hatching) [8].

ADULTSWILD: ditches: 0.1-0.4 m [9] [10] [6] [11]; streams: 0.1-0.8 m [9] [6]; lake: mean 4 m [12] with unclear depth range use. Non-native waters: streams: shallow swamp zones [13], margins of <1.2 m [14]; 0.1-1.5 m [15] [16]FARMno data found yet.

SPAWNERSWILD: ricefields: 0.01-0.1 m [11]. Non-native waters: 0.2-0.5 m [15], streams: margins of <1.2 m [14]FARM: cement ponds: 0.7 m [7].


3. Are minimal farming conditions compatible with the migrating or habitat-changing behaviour of the species? What overall welfare potential can be achieved? How certain are these findings?

L
Likelihood
M
Potential
M
Certainty

POTAMODROMOUS [6] [17]-[11] [18]-[11] [19]-[11] [9].

LARVAE and FRYWILD: 8-16 h photoperiod, fresh water [6] [1] [20]FARM: 16-24 h photoperiod [3]; tanks: 20.4-29 °C [2] [3] [4] [1]For details of holding systems ➝ crit. 1 and 2.

JUVENILESWILD: native and non-native waters: 8-16 h photoperiod, fresh water [6] [21] [13] [16] [1] [12] [20]; streams: 0.5-23 °C (winter-summer), ditches (probably): 9-18.5 °C (summer) [6]. Possible migration from streams to ditches during winter [9]FARM: tanks: 21-29 °C [1]. For details of holding systems crit. 1 and 2.

ADULTSWILD: JUVENILESFARM: for details of holding systems crit. 1.

SPAWNERSWILD: 8-16 h photoperiod, fresh water [6] [1] [20]; ricefields: 7-27 °C (summer) [6]; migrate from ditches and streams to ricefields for spawning in late spring/summer [6] [17]-[11] [18]-[11] [19]-[11]FARM: indoor concrete ponds [4]: 20.5-23 °C (during spawning) [4] [1], 25 °C [7]. For details of holding systems crit. 1 and 2.


4. Is the species likely to reproduce in captivity without manipulation? What overall welfare potential can be achieved? How certain are these findings?

L
Likelihood
M
Potential
M
Certainty

WILD: females mature at 1-2 years [22] [23], males at 1 year [22] [23], also in non-native waters [14]; batch spawners [23], also in non-native waters [14], in mid-April [23] or mid-May [6] until August [6] or even early-October [23]; sex ratio: 2 females: 1 male [12]FARM: batch spawners when hormonally induced [7]. Successful induced spawning with a combination of domperidone hormone and gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist [4] or human chorionic gonadotropin [7] or luteinising hormone-releasing hormone analogue [1] followed by stripping eggs, which are then mixed with male milt  [7] [4]LAB: courtship: post-ovulatory female released a sex pheromone which attracts male, which chased female, swam in parallel with her inserting his pectoral fin into her posterior part, lifting her to the water surface and then coiling around her trunk [24]. Spawn naturally in indoor tanks under light- and temperature-controlled conditions [8]. Successful ovulation in females [24] and spermiation in males by using human chorionic gonadotropin [25].


5. Is the aggregation imposed by minimal farming conditions likely to be compatible with the natural behaviour of the species? What overall welfare potential can be achieved? How certain are these findings?

?
Likelihood
?
Potential
L
Certainty

LARVAE and FRYWILD: no data found yetFARM: tanks: 50 IND/L [2] [3] [4]LAB: aggregate in schools until day 8 [8].

JUVENILESWILD: non-native waters: higher density in inflow/outflow irrigating channels than in ricefields [26]FARM: 60 IND/m2 [5]; imitative ecological farming ponds: 30 IND/m2 [5]; ricefields: 20-25 IND/m2 [27]-[3].

ADULTSWILD JUVENILESFARM: 60 IND/m[5]; imitative ecological farming ponds: 30 IND/m[5].

SPAWNERSWILD and FARMno data found yet.


6. Is the species likely to be non-aggressive and non-territorial? What overall welfare potential can be achieved? How certain are these findings?

/
Likelihood
/
Potential
/
Certainty

LARVAE and FRY: no data found yet.

JUVENILES: no data found yet.

ADULTS: no data found yet.

SPAWNERS: no data found yet.


7. Are minimal farming conditions likely to match the natural substrate and shelter needs of the species? What overall welfare potential can be achieved? How certain are these findings?

L
Likelihood
H
Potential
M
Certainty

LARVAE and FRYWILD: no data found yetFARM: for details of holding systems ➝ crit. 1 and 2.

JUVENILESWILD: stream: sand (1-10 mm diameter) and plants Ranunculus nipponicus [6]; ditches: concrete bottom with mud (<1-5 cm) or natural substrate with mud, sand, gravel, pebbles, and cobbles [10]. Benthic feeder [9]. Non-native waters: muddy [15] [21], silt [15] [26] or sandy [21], with a thick sediment layer [13] or concrete bottom (inflow/outflow channels irrigating ricefields) [26], but apparently prefer silty substrates layered with dead leaves and occasionally with vascular plants, are rarely found in rocky habitats [14]; despite also reported in dense vegetation [13] such as aquatic macrophytes [15]FARM: for details of holding systems crit. 1, 2, and 5.

ADULTSWILD:  JUVENILESFARM: for details of holding systems crit. 1.

SPAWNERSWILD: non-native waters: muddy or silt substrate, with aquatic macrophytes [15], but apparently prefer silty substrates layered with dead leaves and occasionally with vascular plants, are rarely found in rocky habitats [14]FARM: for details of holding systems crit. 1 and 2.


8. Are minimal farming conditions (handling, confinement etc.) likely not to stress the individuals of the species? What overall welfare potential can be achieved? How certain are these findings?

/
Likelihood
/
Potential
/
Certainty

LARVAE and FRY: no data found yet.

JUVENILESno data found yet.

ADULTSno data found yet.

SPAWNERSno data found yet.


9. Are malformations of this species likely to be rare under farming conditions? What overall welfare potential can be achieved? How certain are these findings?

?
Likelihood
?
Potential
L
Certainty

LARVAE and FRYLARVAE did not survive beyond 12 days of starvation, and dead starved IND usually presented undeveloped gut and deformed vertebrae, first feeding should be initiated at 3 days after hatching for better growth and survival [4].

JUVENILESno data found yet.

ADULTSno data found yet.


10. Is a humane slaughter protocol likely to be applied under minimal farming conditions? What overall welfare potential can be achieved? How certain are these findings?

/
Likelihood
/
Potential
/
Certainty

Common and high-standard slaughter method: no data found yet.


Side note: Domestication

DOMESTICATION LEVEL 2 [28], level 5 being fully domesticated.


Side note: Feeding without components of forage fishery

All age classes: WILD: omnivorous: smaller and younger IND are more carnivorous, larger and older ones are more herbivorous [29]-[22] [30]-[20] [10], in non-native waters: feeding on macroinvertebrates [15] [13] [16], detritus [15] [16], and vegetation [16]; considered as generalist benthic macroinvertebrate feeder [14]FARM: no data found yetLAB: detritus feeder [22]. Fish oil may be completely* replaced by sustainable sources [31].

*partly = <51% – mostly = 51-99% – completely = 100%.


Glossary

ADULTS = mature individuals, for details Findings 10.1 Ontogenetic development
DOMESTICATION LEVEL 2 = part of the life cycle closed in captivity, also known as capture-based aquaculture [28]
FARM = setting in farm environment
FRY = larvae from external feeding on, for details Findings 10.1 Ontogenetic development
IND = individuals
JUVENILES = fully developed but immature individuals, for details Findings 10.1 Ontogenetic development
LAB = setting in laboratory environment
LARVAE = hatching to mouth opening, for details Findings 10.1 Ontogenetic development
PLANKTONIC = horizontal movement limited to hydrodynamic displacement
POTAMODROMOUS = migrating within fresh water
SPAWNERS = adults that are kept as broodstock
WILD = setting in the wild


Bibliography

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