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 1
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

Lutjanus johnii is a snapper species native to the Indo-West Pacific. It inhabits estuaries from the Fiji Islands to East Africa and from Australia to Ryukyu Islands. However, two different species with the same morphology might be considered to be L. johnii, one of them inhabiting the Straits of Malaca, Thailand, Australia, and China, and the other one living also in China as well as in India. It is cultured in Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, and Pakistan and valued for recreational fishing in both Australia and Malaysia, where it is overfished and vulnerable to climate change. In the wild, L. johnii can live up to at least 28 years. In farms, juveniles attain market size (600-800 g) in 6-8 months, so they do not reach adulthood unless they are kept as broodstock. Natural spawning in captivity has not been achieved. Spawning after artificial manipulation is possible, but many farms still obtain fingerlings from natural catches locally or more usually imported. Collection of spawners in the wild is not recommended because L. johnii is highly susceptible to barotrauma when caught from depths greater than 10-15 metres. Field data on L. johnii are currently insufficient and should be augmented by inshore surveys and observation of natural behaviours in its habitat. Further research on reproduction is needed to ensure a closed life cycle and to avoid the decimation of the natural populations. Improvements in the farming conditions are needed in order to accommodate the migration needs of juveniles, and adding environmental enrichment into cages will certainly improve their welfare. L. johnii's welfare can also be improved by using farming systems that promote a natural habitat and behaviour of the species as well as by developing humane stunning and slaughtering methods.

Note: The age class "Adults" in this profile refers to a) large juveniles or adults in the wild (due to imprecision in the maturity stage in the references) and b) large juveniles in farms (due to farmers considering individuals as adults based on their size instead of their maturity status).


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?

L
Likelihood
M
Potential
M
Certainty

LARVAE and FRY: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: floating hapa net cages: 4-25 m2 (2 x 2, 3 x 3, 5 x 5 m) [1] [2]; fibre-reinforced plastic tanks: 2 t [3].

JUVENILES: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: floating net cages [4]: wood: 1-1.5 m2 (1 x 1, 1.5 x 1 m) [5]; PVC: 2 m2 (2 x 1 m) [5]; polyethylene: 4-25 m2 (2 x 2, 3 x 3, 5 x 5 m) [1] [2] [6]; circular plastic tanks: 0.3 m3 [7]; sea cages: 6 m diameter (for JUVENILES to become SPAWNERS) [8].

ADULTS: WILD: mostly side fidelity [9] [10] at 1 km2 [9] in offshore coral reef areas [11] [12] [13] [14] and shallow coastal water [13] [14], but 19% of IND move 10-50 km [9] [10], and 1% up to 140 km along the coast [9]. FARM: floating polyethylene net cages: 4-25 m2 (2 x 2, 3 x 3, 5 x 5, 6 x 3 m) [1] [2] [6].

SPAWNERS: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: circular fibre-reinforced plastic tanks: 5 t [8]; Re-circulating Aquaculture System: 125 t [3].


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
M
Potential
M
Certainty

Eggs and LARVAEWILDno data found yet. FARM: 2-3 m [1] [2]. Water depth recommended to be ≥2 m deeper than net cages [1].

JUVENILES: WILD: 1.6-7.5 m [15] or 2-5 m [16]; at <8 cm TOTAL LENGTH: mainly <3 m [15]. FARM: 2-3 m cages [1] [2] [6] or 1 m cages in 3-10 m water depth [5]; sea cages: 5 m (for JUVENILES to become SPAWNERS) [8]. Water depth recommended to be ≥2 m deeper than net cages [1].

ADULTS: WILD: more abundant at 30-40 m [12], but found at 3-55 m [17] and up to 80 m [11]; caught at 20-25 m [18], 40-50 m [19], but also at 15 m max. depth in inshore reefs [20]. FARM:  LARVAE.

SPAWNERS: WILD and FARM: no data found yet.


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

AMPHIDROMOUS [15] [16].

LARVAE and FRY: WILD: at <5 cm: coastal and river mouths [15], estuaries and lagoons [22]. FARM: for details of holding systems ➝ crit. 1 and 2.

JUVENILES: WILD: migration from coastal area to mangrove [16]: at 5-15 cm: estuaries [15], with some migrating upstream up to 13 km [16]; at >20-22 cm: migration offshore [15]. 22.1-32.0 °C [23], 27.3-31.6 °C [15], 20.9-27.6 °C [10]; 12.4-28.3‰ [15] [16]. FARM: 25‰ or more [1]. For details of holding systems ➝ crit. 1 and 2. LAB: 27.0 °C [7].

ADULTS: WILD: coral reef in the open sea [11] [12] [13] [14]; nearshore water [13] [14]. FARM: 14 h photoperiod [8]. For details of holding systems ➝ crit. 1 and 2.

SPAWNERS: WILD: probably in coral reefs or at deep sea areas [12] [13]. FARM: for details of holding systems ➝ crit. 1.


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
L
Potential
H
Certainty

WILD: mature from 8 years (females) and 5 years (males) [13] [9], but also 1.7-4 years [12] [14] and females 3.5-4.5 kg [12], 30.1-63.0 cm [12] [24] [13] [9], males 2.3-3.0 kg [12], 29.1-47 cm [12] [13] [9]. Spawn early September (Andaman Sea [11]) to late April-July (Iran [24]). Sex ratio: 1.2 female:1 male [24]. For spawning substrate ➝ crit. 7. FARM: females mature at 950 g and 40 cm, males at 1.1 kg and 43 cm [8]. Sex ratio: 1 female:2 males [8]. Successful induced spawning [22] [8] [3] using human chorionic gonadotropin [8] or luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone analogue [25]-[26]. During spawning process, females move near the surface with the male swimming just below the female [8].


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

LARVAEWILDno data found yet. FARM: at 75-100 mm: 100-150 [6] to 500 IND/m2 [2].

JUVENILES: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: 20-80 IND/m3 [5]; at 125-150 mm: 44 IND/m2 [2] [6].

ADULTS: WILD: large schools [13]. FARM: 16 IND/m3 or 40 IND/m2 [2] [6].

SPAWNERS: WILD: aggregation during spawning season [10]. FARM: no 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
L
Certainty

LARVAEWILD and FARMno data found yet.

JUVENILES: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: cannibalistic [22].

ADULTS: WILD: no data found yet. FARM:  JUVENILES.

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? What overall welfare potential can be achieved? How certain are these findings?

L
Likelihood
M
Potential
M
Certainty

LARVAE and FRYWILD: no data found yet. FARM: use of clear water recommended, suspended solids ideally <5 mg/L and should not exceed 10 mg/L, turbid water not suitable for farming [1]. For details of holding systems ➝ crit. 1 and 2.

JUVENILES: WILD: frequent in mangrove estuaries [11] [20] [15] [13] [14] [10] and occasionally in turbid waters near headlands, rocky reef structures, and with associated sandy areas [20] [10]. FARM: ➝ LARVAE.

ADULTS: WILD: abundant in turbid waters around hard substrata [27] like snags and pinnacles [13] or man-made structures like wharfs and jetty pylons [27]; in complex topography in muddy coastal areas, in headlands and rocky shores, shallow inshore reefs with ledges [27] and mangrove roots [20] [27]. Occasionally on deeper, sandier trawl grounds offshore [20] [28]. FARM: ➝ LARVAE.

SPAWNERS: WILD: spawn in open water or scatter on substrate, do not guard the eggs [29]. FARM: ➝ LARVAE.


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?

L
Likelihood
M
Potential
M
Certainty

LARVAEWILDno data found yet. FARM: pre-shipment, trans-shipment, and on-farm sanitation protocols recommended to reduce stress and mortality of FINGERLINGS [2] [6].

JUVENILES: WILDno data found yet. FARM: stressed by polluted waters [5], importation [2], and handling [2]. Survive better in monoculture than in biculture with Pomadays kaakan [5].

ADULTS: WILD: highly susceptible to barotrauma when caught from depths >10-15 m [9] [30] [31]. FARM: manual harvesting [2] [6].

SPAWNERS: WILD and FARM: no 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
/
Certainty

LARVAE: FARM: no data found yet.

JUVENILES: FARMno data found yet.

ADULTS: FARM: no 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?

L
Likelihood
L
Potential
L
Certainty

Common slaughter method: no stunning method available [32] [33], asphyxiation in air by manually lifting net cages [6]. High-standard slaughter method: no data found yet.


Side note: Domestication

DOMESTICATION LEVEL 2 [34], level 5 being fully domesticated.


Side note: Feeding without components of forage fishery

All age classes: WILD: carnivorous [11] [2] [5] [15]. FARM: no data found yet.


Glossary

ADULTS = mature individuals, for details Findings 10.1 Ontogenetic development
AMPHIDROMOUS = migrating between fresh water and sea independent of spawning
DOMESTICATION LEVEL 2 = part of the life cycle closed in captivity, also known as capture-based aquaculture [34]
FARM = setting in farm environment
FINGERLINGS = fry with fully developed scales and working fins, the size of a finger; for details Findings 10.1 Ontogentic development
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
SPAWNERS = adults that are kept as broodstock
TOTAL LENGTH = from snout to tip of caudal fin as compared to fork length (which measures from snout to fork of caudal fin) [21] or standard length (from head to base of tail fin) or body length (from the base of the eye notch to the posterior end of the telson)
WILD = setting in the wild


Bibliography

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