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 3
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

Octopus maya is an endemic species of Yucatán Peninsula (México) and highly appreciated by local fisheries and aquaculture. Though it is already cultured for the complete life cycle in consecutively bred generations and many efforts have been applied to reproductive aspects for farming purpose, wild individuals are still being introduced to improve genetic pools. Unfortunately, little is still known about their natural behaviour and spatial ecology, and there are other additional aspects to be solved from a welfare perspective. For instance, the current farming systems result in high stress for O. maya due to high densities and aggregation, which consequently increases aggression at different life stages. In addition, octopus skin is particularly sensitive and can be easily damaged during handling, transportation or stressful conditions due to confinement. A humane slaughtering protocol is not yet established since the nature and degree of any suffering during current practices are unknown. Octopus appear capable of experiencing pain and suffering, exhibit cognitive complexity and sophisticated behavioural patterns which can be interpreted and serve as indicators of the welfare status.


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
?
Potential
L
Certainty

LARVAE: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: tanks: 7.5 m2 (5.0 × 1.5 m) [1].

JUVENILES: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: outdoor tanks: 5 m2 (6 m diameter) [2] [3].

ADULTSWILD: no data found yetFARM  JUVENILES.

SPAWNERS: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: females and males in outdoor tanks for fecundation: 5 m2 (6 m diameter) [2] [3], fecundated females in 320 L tanks [4].


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
M
Potential
H
Certainty

LARVAE: WILD: BENTHIC, mostly 2-9 m, up to 50-60 m [5] [6]. FARM: tanks: 0.4 m [1].

JUVENILES: WILD:   LARVAE. FARM: outdoor tanks: 0.5 m [2] [3].

ADULTS: WILD:   LARVAE. FARM: ➝ JUVENILES.

SPAWNERS: WILD:   LARVAE. FARM: females and males in outdoor tanks for fecundation: 0.5 m [2] [3], fecundated females in tanks: >0.5 m [4].


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?

?
Likelihood
?
Potential
L
Certainty

LARVAE: WILD: distribution limited to Yucatán Peninsula (México), 11-13 h photoperiod, 23-30 °C, seawater [7] [8]. FARM: 10 h photoperiod red light, 25 °C, 32 psu [1]. For details of holding systems   crit. 1 and 2. 

JUVENILES: WILD:   LARVAE. FARM: 25-29 °C [1], 35.4-36 psu [2]. For details of holding systems   crit. 1 and 2. 

ADULTS: WILD:   LARVAE. FARM:   JUVENILES.

SPAWNERS: WILD:   LARVAE. FARM: females and males in outdoor tanks for fecundation: 25-29 °C [1], 35.4-36 psu [2], fecundated females in indoor tanks: photoperiod 10 h red light, 25 °C, 32 psu [1]. 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
H
Potential
H
Certainty

WILD: semelparous: females reproduce once and then die [9] [10]. Different reproduction patterns according to its distribution area, very possibly determined by oceanographic conditions of the continental shelf of the Yucatan Peninsula. Central and eastern populations reproduce throughout the year with a maximum in the coldest months, the western population exclusively in the coldest months (22-24 °C) [11]. FARM: cultured for the complete life cycle in consecutively bred generations. Females and males are separated until one week before mating when they are placed together in outdoor tanks to ensure maximum fecundity of oocytes [1]. Then, fecundated females of about 500 g are individually placed in a 320 L dark tank [4]. For details of substrate for nest  crit. 7. Copulation and vitellogenesis process sensible to temperature (22-28 °C), changes in light intensity and photoperiod [1].


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?

L
Likelihood
L
Potential
H
Certainty

LARVAE: WILD: usually solitary [10]. FARM: 50 IND/m2 [1].

JUVENILES: WILD: ➝ LARVAE. FARM: 25-140 IND/m2, higher survival rates with lower densities [3].

ADULTS: JUVENILES.

SPAWNERS: WILD: early reproductive aggregations [10]. FARM: females and males are placed together in outdoor tanks for copulation. After copulation, females are placed solitary to deposit and take care of eggs [1].


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

?
Likelihood
?
Potential
L
Certainty

LARVAE: WILD: no data found yet. FARM/LAB: aggression and cannibalism [9] [12] [13] [2] [14]. High densities lead to higher cannibalism [3]. Cannibalism and aggression can be reduced via separating by size regularly and with individual shelters [1]. For details of shelter ➝ crit. 7.

JUVENILESWILD: no data found yet. FARM/LAB:   LARVAE.

ADULTSWILD: no data found yet. FARM/LAB:   LARVAE.

SPAWNERSWILD: no data found yet. FARM/LAB:   LARVAE.


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
H
Potential
M
Certainty

LARVAE: WILD: BENTHIC, occupy muddy or calcareous bottoms, with occasional hiding places, and can also be found in seagrass meadows formed mainly by Thalassia testudinum, in empty shells of gastropod mollusks (Strombus gigas, S. costatus and Pleuroploca gigantea), and existing caves in the karstic earthenware of the bottom or among coral rocks [6] [15]. FARM/LAB: erratic swimming during their first 10 days post hatching next to the bottom (necto-benthic behaviour), artificial grasses offered as refuge [4] [16]. Dark tanks recommended [1].

JUVENILES: WILD: ➝ LARVAE. FARM/LAB: dark outdoor tanks with greenhouse meshes that reduce the direct sunlight by 70% [17] [1]. Stress, cannibalism, and aggression can be reduced by providing shelter and hiding places, which can be PVC tubes or conch shells (e.g. Megalongena corona bispinosa) [18] [17]. Three shelters per octopus recommended [17].

ADULTS: WILD: ➝ LARVAE. FARM: ➝ JUVENILES.

SPAWNERS: WILD: BENTHIC, incirrate octopus (females) lay their eggs in dens, blocking up the opening with stones to reduce vulnerability and avoid predation of the embryos [19] [20]. FARM: fibreglass box is offered as a refuge and posterior spawning nest [4].


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
M
Certainty

LARVAE: stressed by confinement, high rearing densities (social encounters), and food deficit [1] [3]. A container method has been developed for transfer of O. maya individuals within a facility [21]. To avoid skin damage, an aeration system based on airlift pump supply is recommended [1].

JUVENILES: ➝ LARVAE.

ADULTS: ➝ LARVAE.

SPAWNERS: ➝ LARVAE.


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

/
Likelihood
/
Potential
/
Certainty

LARVAE: no data found yet.

JUVENILES: no data found yet.

ADULTS: no data found yet.

SPAWNERS: 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: cooling by immersion in seawater at 2-8 °C, as recommended for sub-tropical cephalopod species [22], to induce loss of sensation and enable humane killing [23]. Indications that stunning by immersion in MgCl2, followed by spiking of the brain is most effective in other octopus species (O. vulgaris) [24]. Further research needed to confirm for farming conditions and to determine whether this applies to O. maya as well.


Side note: Domestication

DOMESTICATION LEVEL 4 [25], level 5 being fully domesticated.


Side note: Feeding without components of forage fishery

All age classes: WILD: carnivorous; prey on crustaceans, bivalves, fish, gastropods, other octopuses, and even birds [14]FARM: accepts artificial diets immediately [27]. Fish meal may be completely* replaced by non-forage fishery components [28].

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


Glossary

ADULTS = mature individuals, for details Findings 10.1 Ontogenetic development
BENTHIC = living at the bottom of a body of water
DOMESTICATION LEVEL 4 = entire life cycle closed in captivity without wild inputs [26]
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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