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 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

Osphronemus goramy of the family Osphronemidae is originally living in freshwater bodies of Southeast Asia. By now, it has been introduced into Europe, Australia, and India. Despite its slow growth and low fecundity, it is being assumed suitable for farming due to its air breathing, which makes it withstand low oxygen levels in ponds, and the possibility to thrive on a mostly plant-based diet. Farming has probably been done for hundreds of years and has increased in intensity, while the wild stocks have decreased. A main caveat in production is the large variation in reproduction partially assumed to be caused by unfavourable sex ratios, but non-invasive sexing might be one way of improvement.
For O. goramy to increase its FishEthoScore, more research is needed on the biology and on natural conditions of home range, depth, migration, reproduction, aggregation, aggression, substrate, as well as on water parameter requirements, stress, and stunning. High mortality in larvae and fry stage and decrease in reproduction in spawners might be reduced by moving hatcheries and broodstock facilities inside to protect them from sun and rain, predators, disease, and noise and to better control water parameters.
Note: Due to reaching maturity after the typical age and weight at slaughter, there is no age class "Adults" in the profile.


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 and FRY: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: 100 L glass aquaria [1], mainly tarpaulin tanks: 2-36 m2 and concrete tanks: 10-100 m2 [2].

JUVENILES: WILD and FARM: no data found yet.

SPAWNERS: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: 300-500 m2 recommended [3], earthen ponds: 200-870 m2, higher fecundity in pools compartmentalised with nets into 8-20 m2 areas [1], 300-1,000 m2 [4], 24-1,100 m2 in open or compartmentalised ponds [2], 525-570 m2 [5].


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
M
Certainty

LARVAE and FRY: WILD: 3-5 m [6]. FARM: mainly tarpaulin and concrete tanks: 15-50 cm water level [2].

JUVENILES: WILD: 3-5 m [6], 1.6 m [7]. FARM: no data found yet.

SPAWNERS: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: attached nest to bulrush 15-25 cm below water surface, ca 30 cm above bottom [8], farmers attached nest support to bamboo poles 15-20 cm below water surface [3] [1] [2], 1 m recommended [3], earthen ponds: 0.6 m [1], 0.5-1.5 m [4]. LAB: earthen ponds: 1.5 m [9].


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

EURYHALINE [10].

LARVAE and FRY: WILD: 11-13 h photoperiod, 26.8-30.6 °C [6] [10] [7], 19-23 °C during winter, 22.4-32 °C during summer [11], fresh water [6] [11] [12] [7] [13] [14] [15] [16], brackish water [10]. Further research needed on migration. FARM: earthen ponds: 11-13 h, 27.1-39.9 °C [2], fresh water [1] [2]. For details of holding systems  crit. 1 and 2.

JUVENILES: WILD:  LARVAE. FARM: earthen ponds: 11-13 h, 22.6-34.7 °C [1] [2], fresh water [1] [2]. For details of holding systems  crit. 1 and 2.

SPAWNERS: WILD:  LARVAE. FARM:  JUVENILES.


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?

?
Likelihood
M
Potential
L
Certainty

WILD: no data found yet. FARM: brooders are kept in earthen spawning ponds for 3-6 months at a time for 2-3 egg production periods per year [2] [5] (separated by sex in the intervening resting times [1] [2]) at male:female ratio of 1:1-1:4 [3] [1] [2] [5]. Identification of sex in mature individuals by stripping in males (very difficult due to oligospermia) or cannulation in females, but also possible via secondary characters, especially in black phenotype (males with bulging forehead and lower jaw, females with black spot at pectoral peduncle) [5]. Spontaneous spawning when provided with nest substrate ( crit. 7) [9] [1] [2].


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
L
Certainty

Eggs: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: 100 L glass aquaria: 4-5 eggs/cm2 [1].

LARVAE and FRY: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: 111-714 IND/m2 [3] [2]. LAB: 150 IND/m2 with highest growth rate, decreasing with increasing density [17].

JUVENILESWILD and FARM: no data found yet.

SPAWNERS: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: 1 IND/7-10 m2 [3], 1 IND/4-5 m2 [1] [5], 0.02-0.75 IND/m2 (mean 0.17 IND/m2) or 1 IND/5-6 m2 [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
L
Certainty

LARVAE and FRY: WILD: no data found yet. LAB: no aggression, no cannibalism [17].

JUVENILES: WILD and FARM: no data found yet.

SPAWNERS: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: large number of males resulted in fights and injuries [3], fights between males, reduced by compartmentalising pools with nets ( crit. 1) and thereby separating males [1] [2].


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 and FRY: WILD: were found where there was also a moderate to abundant presence of duckweed (Lemna minor), knot grass (Polygonum barbatum), water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), water mimosa (Neptunia oleracea), oxygen weed (Hydrilla verticillata), giant salvinia (Salvinia molesta), common reed (Phragmites australis) [15]. FARM: tanks or aquaria with water plants (Hydrilla, Ceratophyllum) for individuals to attach to or rest on [3], no protection from sun or rain, probably causing high mortality [2].

JUVENILES: WILD LARVAE and FRY. FARM: of floating macrophytes, JUVENILES preferred Lemna minor as food, but Azolla filiculoides is also recommended for food, water remediation, high productivity, and low risk of non-productive cycles in small-scale fish farming [18].

SPAWNERS: WILD: LARVAE and FRY. FARM: earthen ponds with bulrush [8] or palm tree fibre for nest building [9] [1] [2] and baskets of braided bamboo strips on bamboo poles as nest support at 15-20 cm below water surface [3] [1] [2] at frequency of at least 1 nest/male [1]. In ponds without nest support, dugged crevices (by farmer) in earthen pond banks were used [2]. Nest building mainly by males, but also females [1]. No protection from sun or rain, probably decreasing spawning frequency and causing diseases [2].


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
L
Certainty

LARVAE and FRY: stressed by handling and noise [2].

JUVENILES: stressed by transport [4].

SPAWNERS: stressed by handling and noise [2].


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 and FRY: no data found yet.

JUVENILES: 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
L
Potential
L
Certainty

Common slaughter method: stunning in chilled water, then bleeding and evisceration [4].


Side note: Domestication

DOMESTICATION LEVEL 4 [19], level 5 being fully domesticated. Life cycle closed around 1900 [1], pond culture much older [20]-[17], probably for centuries [4].


Side note: Feeding without components of forage fishery

WILD: herbivorous [21], omnivorous with vegetarian focus [18]. FARM: for JUVENILES, fish meal and fish oil may be partly* replaced by plants [22] [18], SPAWNERS were mainly fed with plants [2], but no data found yet on replacements for FRY.

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


Glossary

DOMESTICATION LEVEL 4 = entire life cycle closed in captivity without wild inputs [19]
EURYHALINE = tolerant of a wide range of salinities
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
SPAWNERS = adults that are kept as broodstock
WILD = setting in the wild


Bibliography

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