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 0 2
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

Lates calcarifer is an important coastal, estuarine, and freshwater fish in the Indo-Pacific region. Aquaculture of this species began in the 1970s in Thailand and rapidly spread throughout much of Southeast Asia. Its delicately flavoured meat, fast growth rate, large size, and easy breeding in captivity make it a very attractive species for aquaculture. However, in general, the current available rearing techniques need to be optimised for improving fish welfare as demonstrated in almost all the criteria below. Some limitations of this species have already been identified, such as cannibalism in early life stages that may be improved by using rearing systems with low light intensity and refuges. Further research is needed to identify possible long-term effects on welfare. Stress by pre-slaughter and slaughter method can be avoided using a rested harvest technique. Future research and developmental work should therefore be directed towards resolving some of these welfare limitations. 


1. Are minimal farming conditions likely to provide the home range of the species? Is there potential for improvement? How certain are these findings?

?
Likelihood
M
Potential
M
Certainty

LARVAE: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: intensive: circular tanks: 26 m[1], rectangular tanks: 15 m[2]; extensive: ponds: 0.05-1 ha [1].

JUVENILES: WILD: some morphs are stationary [3] [4], others move longer distances [5] [4] FARM: cages: 9-100 m2 [6].

ADULTS:  JUVENILES.

SPAWNERS: WILD: no data found yet. FARM tanks: 50 m2 [2]; cages: 16 m[7].


2. Are minimal farming conditions likely to provide the depth range of the species? Is there potential for improvement? How certain are these findings?

L
Likelihood
L
Potential
M
Certainty

LARVAE: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: intensive: rectangular tanks: 1 m [2]; extensive: ponds: <2 m [1].

JUVENILES: WILD: usually 10-40 m [8] [9]. Mangroves: 0.5-5 m [10]; estuary: 2.5-6 m [10]; sea: 50-200 m [10]FARM: cages: 2-3 m [1]

ADULTS:  JUVENILES.

SPAWNERS: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: tanks: 2 m [2], cages: 3 m [6].


3. Are minimal farming conditions compatible with the migrating or habitat-changing behaviour of the species? Is there potential for improvement? How certain are these findings?

L
Likelihood
L
Potential
H
Certainty

CATADROMOUS [11] [12].

LARVAE: WILD: migration from the coastal nurseries to the riverine [5] [3] [4]. FARM: reared in seawater [6]. For details of holding systems   crit. 1 and 2.

JUVENILESWILD: demersal [12] [9]. Some morphs move 100-500 km [5] [13] [4]. FARM: ponds: brackish water 10-30 ppt [14]. For details of holding systems  crit. 1 and 2.

ADULTS: WILD JUVENILES

SPAWNERS: spawning migration to coastal spawning grounds [5] [15]. FARM: reared in seawater [6]; gradually changes from 20-25 to 30-32 ppt simulating natural conditions [2]. For details of holding systems ➝ crit. 1 and 2.


4. Is the species likely to reproduce in captivity without manipulation? Is there potential to allow for it under farming conditions? How certain are these findings?

L
Likelihood
M
Potential
M
Certainty

WILD: spawning season varies according to geographical location [16]. FARM: hormonal induction of reproduction [6] [17], natural spawning through photoperiod and temperature manipulation [17] and natural spawning without manipulation [6].


5. Is the aggregation imposed by minimal farming conditions likely to be compatible with the natural behaviour of the species? Is there potential to allow for it under farming conditions? How certain are these findings?

?
Likelihood
?
Potential
M
Certainty

LARVAE: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: initial 30 IND/L reduced to 6 IND/L at 20 days post hatch [6]; 400,000-900,000 IND/ha [1].

JUVENILES: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: cages: 15-40 kg/m3 [1]; RAS: 15 kg/m3 [1]; ponds: 0.3-2 IND/m2 at body weight 20-100 g [1].

ADULTSWILD: no data found yetFARM:  JUVENILES.

SPAWNERS: WILD: spawning aggregations [18]. FARM: 1 kg/m[2].


6. Is the species likely to be non-aggressive and non-territorial? Is there potential for improvement? How certain are these findings?

L
Likelihood
M
Potential
M
Certainty

LARVAE: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: cannibalism decreases with size-grading [6]. LAB: cannibalistic [7] [19] [20].

JUVENILES: WILD: aggressive [21]. FARM: cannibalism decreases under constant dark conditions [22] and in systems with low light intensity and shelters [23]. Further research needed to identify possible long-term effects on welfare.

ADULTS: WILD and FARM: no data found yet.

SPAWNERS: WILD and FARM: no data found yet.


7. Are minimal farming conditions likely to match the natural substrate and shelter needs of the species? Is there potential for improvement? How certain are these findings?

L
Likelihood
M
Potential
M
Certainty

LARVAE: WILDno data found yetFARM: for details of holding systems ➝ crit. 1 and 2.

JUVENILES: WILD: generally prefer to hide under logs and vegetation [11] [24]. FARM: for details of holding systems ➝ crit. 3 and 5. LAB: systems with refuges reduce cannibalism [23].

ADULTS JUVENILES.

SPAWNERS: WILD and FARM: no data found yet.


8. Are minimal farming conditions (handling, confinement etc.) likely not to stress the individuals of the species? Is there potential for improvement? How certain are these findings?

L
Likelihood
M
Potential
H
Certainty

LARVAE: stressed by diets deficient in fatty acids [25].

JUVENILES: stressed by catch and release [26], changes in water temperature from 28 ºC to 36 ºC [27], high stocking density [28], and poor water quality associated with high density [29].

ADULTS: ➝ JUVENILES. LAB: stress by pre-slaughter and slaughter method can be avoided using a rested harvest technique [30].

SPAWNERS: stressed by handling [2].


9. Are malformations of this species likely to be rare under farming conditions? Is there potential for improvement? How certain are these findings?

L
Likelihood
L
Potential
M
Certainty

LARVAE: malformed spine in 1.1-7.7% individuals [31]; malformed jaw and operculum in 4.2-35.7% [32]; malformed jaw and spine in 1.0-22.0% [33].

JUVENILES: no data found yet.

ADULTS: no data found yet.


10. Is a humane slaughter protocol likely to be applied under minimal farming conditions? Is there potential for improvement? How certain are these findings?

L
Likelihood
M
Potential
M
Certainty

Common slaughter method: asphyxia in ice water slurry [30]. Indications that stunning with 25 mg/L clove oil before slaughter is most effective [30]. Further research needed to confirm for farming conditions.


Side note: Domestication

DOMESTICATION LEVEL 4 [34], level 5 being fully domesticated.


Side note: Feeding without components of forage fishery

All age classes: WILD: carnivorous [35]. FARM: fish meal and fish oil may be partly* replaced by non-forage fishery components [36] [37] [38] [39] [40].

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


Glossary

ADULTS = mature individuals, for details Findings 10.1 Ontogenetic development
CATADROMOUS = migrating from fresh water into the sea to spawn
DOMESTICATION LEVEL 4 = entire life cycle closed in captivity without wild inputs [34]
FARM = setting in farm environment
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
SPAWNERS = adults that are kept as broodstock
WILD = setting in the wild


Bibliography

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