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 4
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

Sepia officinalis is mostly found in the eastern Atlantic and in the Mediterranean Sea, attaining interest for fisheries and high market value; and it is used as an animal model for biological and biomedical research, for aquaculture production, and also for public exhibition in aquariums. However, the main bottlenecks in the S. officinalis culture are reproduction, feeding, and nutrition, which need to be solved before applying them to an industrial scale for human consumption. Though it is already cultured for the complete life cycle in consecutively bred generations, wild individuals (eggs) are still being introduced to improve genetic pools. Detrimental for welfare in captivity are the seasonal migrations (mainly vertical) S. officinalis undertakes in the wild and that the current farming techniques result in high stress due to high densities, aggregations, and food and mate competitions, which consequently increase aggression at different life stages. In addition, cuttlefish skin is particularly sensitive and can be easily damaged during handling, transportation or stressful conditions due to confinement, and a humane slaughtering protocol is not yet established.


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

L
Likelihood
L
Potential
M
Certainty

LARVAE: WILD: NEKTONIC [1] [2]. FARM: indoor or outdoor tanks and ponds: minimum bottom areas of 0.06 m2 [3].

JUVENILES: WILDNEKTONIC [1] [2], 0.3-1.3 km2 [4]. FARM: circular tanks and closed seawater system: 1,800 L [5]; raceway tanks: 10 L and minimum area of about 1,083 cm2 [3].

ADULTS:  JUVENILES.

SPAWNERS: JUVENILES


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
H
Certainty

LARVAE: WILD: 0-200 m depth, mostly 0-100 m [6]. FARM/LAB: indoor or outdoor tanks: about 0.5 m [7] [8].

JUVENILES: WILD:  LARVAE. FARM: indoor or outdoor tanks, ponds: about 0.5 m [9] [7] [8].

ADULTS: WILD: larger individuals are encountered in the deeper part of the range [10]. FARM:  JUVENILES.

SPAWNERS: WILD: migrate to shallower waters for spawning [6]. Females generally lay eggs rarely below 30-40 m [6]. FARM: ➝ JUVENILES.


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

LARVAEWILD: based on distribution in eastern Atlantic to Mediterranean Sea [1] [2] photoperiod ca 3-20 h. Further research needed on migration. FARM: 12-16 h photoperiod [11] [12], 20 °C [9] the effects of crowding [13]. For details of holding conditions   crit. 1 and 2.

JUVENILES: WILD: inshore migration to shallow water areas during the spring, arriving later than ADULTS [14] [15] [16] [17]. Move 0.6-2.5 km/day in shallow waters [18] [4] [19]. FARM: 12-16 h photoperiod [11], 25 °C [5]. For details of holding conditions   crit. 1 and 2.

ADULTS: ➝ JUVENILES.

SPAWNERS: WILD: inshore spawning migration [6], likely influenced by sea temperatures and currents [15] [20]. FARM: photoperiod should replicate natural geographical conditions during spawning [7]. For details of holding conditions ➝ 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: they reproduce at 1-2 years old [21] [14]. Two spawning peaks: a first major peak of large individuals in early summer and a second minor peak of medium and small-sized individuals in late summer and early autumn [6]. Maximum potential fecundity of 8,000 eggs [22]. For spawning migration ➝ crit. 3. Females die shortly after spawning [23] [6]. FARM: eggs commonly obtained from captive cultured populations or through wild captures (including spawners) [24]. Photoperiod and temperature range resembling natural geographical conditions during spawning in the wild [25]. Natural spawning including mating behaviour [7]. Sex ratio: 1:2-3 male:female [9] [26] [27] [28] [29] [12] [30].


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
M
Certainty

LARVAE: WILD: usually solitary [31]. FARM: 500 IND/m2 [3].

JUVENILESWILD: ➝ LARVAE. FARM: 20-400 IND/m2 [9] [5] [3] [32].

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

SPAWNERS: WILD: reproductive aggregations [33]. FARM: 2-4 IND/m2 [9] [34] [28] [35] [30] [24] [13].


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: cannibalism and food competition (feeding hierarchies), which can be reduced by avoiding animals of different age groups together (maximum difference: 10 days after hatching) [36] [7]. Competition for space [28].

JUVENILESWILD: no data found yetFARM: LARVAE.

ADULTS: WILD: no data found yetFARM: LARVAE.

SPAWNERS: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: courtship behaviour: aggressive mating behaviour and male-to-male aggressions, which can be avoided with adjusted sex-ratios (1 male and 2-3 females) [35] [34] [28] [30] [24] [13].


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: WILDBENTHIC [6]. Mainly on sandy and muddy bottoms, but also associated to seagrass beds and rocky bottoms [21] [37] [38]. FARM: no substrate added in tanks [9] [39]. Black round-shaped fibreglass tanks and low light intensities recommended [7]. Embryos hatch in darkness [40]. Earthen ponds provide natural substrate [41]

JUVENILES: WILD  LARVAE. FARM: no substrate added in tanks [9][39]. Black round-shaped fibreglass tanks and low light intensities recommended [7]. Earthen ponds provide natural substrate [7].

ADULTSWILD  LARVAEFARM JUVENILES

SPAWNERS: WILD: females lay their eggs on hydrodynamic locations, attached to wild flora and fauna or to human-related structures [6]FARM: no substrate added in tanks [3]. Earthen ponds provide natural substrate [41]. Females attach their eggs on collectors (i.e., ropes, airlines and nets) [7]. Use of black hatching baskets or raceway tanks [42]. Round-shaped fibreglass tanks or wall foam protection recommended to avoid skin damage [43] [7]. Tank should have large bottom areas [32] [13]. The use of a combination of natural or natural-resembling artificial light sources and tank colours is recommended or using water repellent shading nets if reared outdoors [7]


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 confinement characteristics (space), high rearing densities, and food competition [36] [28] [7], which can be reduced by size-grading [36] [7]. Dark round-shaped fibreglass tanks recommended or wall foam protection, low light intensities, and aeration systems based on airlift pump supply to avoid skin damages [43] [7]. Stressed by the presence of predators or potential threats [44]. In ponds, net barriers should be used for preventing cuttlefish capture by birds [7]. However, high adaptability to environmental changes through all stages [45].

JUVENILES: stressed by handling may be reduced by anaesthetics [46]. Stressed by confinement and high rearing densities [36] [28] [7]. Stress by food competition may be reduced by size-grading [36] [7]. To avoid skin damage, dark round-shaped fibreglass tanks are recommended or wall foam protection, low light intensities, and aeration systems based on airlift pump supply [43] [7]. To reduce stress by the presence of predators or potential threats threats [44], net barriers are recommended [7]. High adaptability to environmental changes [45].

ADULTS: ➝ JUVENILES.

SPAWNERS: stressed by mating competition [7], confinement, and high rearing densities [36]. Stress by food competition may be reduced by size-grading [36] [7]. To avoid skin damage, dark round-shaped fibreglass tanks are recommended or wall foam protection, low light intensities, and aeration systems based on airlift pump supply [43] [7]. To reduce stress by the presence of predators or potential threats [44], net barriers are recommended [7]. High adaptability to environmental changes [45].


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
L
Certainty

LARVAE: cuttlebone deformations due to high pCO2 exposure [47].

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: thermal shock in ice slurry water for human consumption [7]. Highly recommended: stunning by immersion in seawater with MgCl2 (7.14%) or ethanol (2%) to induce loss of sensation and enable humane killing by rapid decapitation or brain destruction [48] [49] [50] [51] [52].


Side note: Domestication

DOMESTICATION LEVEL 4 [53], level 5 being fully domesticated.


Side note: Feeding without components of forage fishery

All age classes: WILD: carnivorous; prey on crustaceans, fishes, molluscs, polychaetes, and nemertean worms [6]. FARM: live shrimps or frozen diets based on crustaceans or a mixture of crustaceans and fishes [7]. Unsuccessful attempts of partly* replacing fish meal and fish oil with pelleted diets [55] [56] [57] [58].

* 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 [54]
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
NEKTONIC = horizontal movement by active swimming
SPAWNERS = adults that are kept as broodstock
WILD = setting in the wild


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