Summary


Labeo catla is among the most cultured fishes in India, belonging to the Indian major carps together with Cirrhinus mrigala and L. rohita. The wild populations of this freshwater carp can be found in reservoirs and riverine areas in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Burma. Despite that, there is limited information about this species in natural conditions, especially about home range, depth range, substrate, and aggregation needs. L. catla is a surface feeder and is often raised in polyculture systems with other carps, presenting better performance when aggregated with species of different feeding habits. Structures such as bamboo poles can be used as periphyton substrate in these polycultures, but not for feeding L. catla but instead for feeding other carp species and thereby reducing competition for planktons. Although its entire life cycle is closed in captivity, it is necessary to induce the reproduction by hormonal manipulation. Moreover, there is no information about adults under farming conditions, probably because this species is sold before reaching maturity. It is a common practice in large farms that fishes are just washed thoroughly in water, packed with crushed ice at a ratio of 1:1 in rectangular plastic crates, and transported for long distances to be sold as fresh as possible. Thus, further research is needed on the stunning and slaughter process, besides the stress response of this species.