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

Lutjanus argentimaculatus is a snapper species native to the tropical and subtropical Indo-West Pacific from Samoa to East Africa and from Ryukyu Island (Japan) to Australia. It has been introduced in the Mediterranean Sea through the Suez canal (although it is not established there yet) and is found in the Aegean sea (Turkey) and near Lebanon and Greece. It is commercially demanded in Asia for its food quality and popular in Australia for recreational fishing. L. argentimaculatus is a long-lived species of up to 57+ years migrating to estuaries and freshwater habitats as juveniles and returning offshore to mature, spawn, and spend the rest of its life (except occasional visits to estuaries). There is high variability in depth range and life history (migration, reproduction) depending on latitude/climate. Most research has focused on migrations, natural and induced reproduction, and dietary needs. Further research is needed to determine natural behaviours (such as social and sexual behaviour), natural home range, aggression/territoriality in the wild, effects of handling and confinement on health and welfare, malformation rates, and slaughter protocols. In farms, L. argentimaculatus is usually cultured for 7-13 months. Therefore, due to late maturity in this species, most individuals are juveniles at harvesting time. Larvae are either collected from the wild or purchased from stocks. Due to the adults’ need to migrate for spawning, rearing individuals to become spawners is not recommended unless migration options are available.

Note: The age class "Adults" for farming conditions refers to large juveniles and young adults due to farmers estimating age class by size rather than by maturity 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?

L
Likelihood
M
Potential
M
Certainty

LARVAEWILD: no data found yet. FARM: larval tanks: 2-5 t in 1,000 m2 hatchery area [1]; fibreglass tanks: 400-500 L [2] [3]; conical concrete tanks: 3 t [2] [3].

JUVENILES: WILD: site fidelity in estuaries [4] [5]. FARM: net cages in ponds: 25 m2 or 100 m2 (5 x 5 m or 10 x 10 m) [1], 24 m2 (4 x 6 m) [6], 6.3 m2  (2.5 x 2.5 m) [7].

ADULTSWILD: mostly offshore [8] [4] [9], but also found in estuaries [10]. Further research needed for specific ranges. FARM: flow-through concrete tanks: 150 t or 60.8 m2 (7.8 x 7.8 m) [2]; concrete ponds: 3,000 t [11].

SPAWNERS: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: circular concrete tanks: 4 m diameter [2]; floating net cages: 6 m diameter [12].


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 and FARM: no data found yet.

JUVENILES: WILD: 1.5-6 m, mainly 5-6 m in Australia [5] or <1.5 m in South Africa [13]. FARM: net cages of 1 m depth [6] in ≥1.0 m [1] or of 2 m depth in ≥2.5 m ponds [7]; flow-through concrete tanks (for JUVENILES to become SPAWNERS): 2.0 m [2].

ADULTS: WILD: 40-260 m [14] [15] [16], but also at 5-8 m [17] or 9-13 m [18]. FARM: no data found yet.

SPAWNERS: WILD: relatively deep offshore waters [4] and in reef lagoons and outer reef slopes (in Palau) [8]. Further research needed for specific depths. FARM: circular concrete tanks: 1.5 m [2]; concrete ponds: 3 m [11]; floating net cages: ≥5 m [12].


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
M
Potential
M
Certainty

CATADROMOUS [5].

LARVAEWILD: offshore [4]. FARM: 0-21 days old: higher survival at 16 ppt salinity [19], but also reared at 32 [20] and 35 ppt [3]; >21 days old: 16-40 ppt [19]. For details of holding systems  crit. 1.

JUVENILES: WILD: migration from offshore towards the coast and into estuaries and freshwater habitats in spring-summer depending on latitude [21]-[4] [22]. Mainly site fidelity [4] [23] or moving within 1 km in estuaries and freshwater habitats [4]; some move mean 4.3-10 km [5] [24]; rarely: inter-riverine (up to 85 km) [4]. Overnight migration to mangrove habitat during high tides for foraging purposes [24]. Migrate offshore to mature, the timing dependent on latitude or ecological conditions [21]-[4] [4] [23] [25]. FARM: salinity: 16-40 ppt [22]. For details of holding systems  crit. 1 and 2.

ADULTSWILD: offshore, occasional trips to the coast and into estuaries at 324-430 mm or 3-11 years of age [4]. FARM: for details of holding systems  crit. 1.

SPAWNERS: WILD: 40-50 km offshore [4]. FARM: 100 m from the shore [12]; salinity: 25-36 [12], 30-32 ppt [2]. 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: mature from 7-8+ years on [25] [4], but also 1-3+ years depending on latitude [23]. Spawn in spring-autumn with peak in summer or year round depending on latitude and ecological conditions [21]-[4] [26] [4] [23]. Sex ratio: average 1 male:1.18 females (monthly variations) [9]. Spawning activity peaks at 14-18 days into the lunar month (in Palau) [8]. FARM: spawn at 5-7 years [12]. Natural spawning usually occurred 23:00-00:00 [11] or 02:00-04:00, 3 days before or after the last quarter and newmoon phases with a sex ration of 1 female per 1.07-1.13 males [12]. Successful induced spawning using luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone analogue or human chorionic gonadotropin [12]. Sex ratio for induced spawning: 1 female:2 males [12]. Higher hatching, percentage of normal larvae, and cumulative egg to larval survival rate in natural spawning compared to induced spawing [12]. Monthly rematuration of cage-reared broodstock during 5-6 consecutive months [27].


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

LARVAE and FRY: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: LARVAE: 5-16.4 [11] or 30 [3] IND/L; FRY (2.5-12 cm): 40-48 [7], 100-150 or 150-200 IND/m3 [1] [28].

JUVENILES: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: FINGERLINGS (≥20 g): ponds: 5,000 IND/ha; net cages: 5 IND/m3 [1] [29], but also 29 IND/m3 [6].

ADULTS: WILD: at 9-13 m depth, shoals of 5-30 individuals [18] or more [4]; solitary [18] or in groups around coral reef [4]. FARM: no data found yet.

SPAWNERS: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: 12-22 IND/cage (85 m3) [12]; 50-150 individuals in hatchery area of 1,000 m2 with several tanks [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: cannibalistic behaviour (chasing and biting other's eyes and fins) from about 26 days of hatching, when over 25 mm [3] [11] [1].

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

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

SPAWNERS: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: no data found yet.


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
H
Certainty

LARVAE: WILD: PELAGIC [4], offshore [4] and in coastal lagoons and estuaries [30]. FARM: PELAGIC [2]. For details of holding systems crit. 1.

JUVENILES: WILD: mostly rocks (<10 cm), snags (>10 cm) [4] [22], indurated sand [5], sandy habitats [22], but also rock reefs, soft sediments in estuaries [5], seagrasses [5] [22], mangroves [4] [23] [22], coral reefs and seaweed beds [23], bivalve shelves [22], tree roots [4] [22], aquatic macrophytes, artificial rock structures, under undercut banks or overhanging vegetation [4], or in pneumatophores of the mangrove Sonneratia griffithii and prop roots [31]FARM: featureless tanks [30], coastal net cages, and ponds [3] [1]. The use of shelters and size grading are important to prevent sibling cannibalism and to produce uniformly-sized fingerlings [1]. Black net ribbons over cages and piled PVC pipes at the bottom of the cage as shelter for the fish [28]. Cages covered with old or used nets, coconut fronds or nipa shingles to protect the stock from direct sunlight and predator birds [28]. Light should be provided at night in cages and pens to attract zooplanktons [32]. LAB: tanks with rocks or snags increased growth and weight compared to featureless tanks and tanks with plastic strings simulating seagrass [30].

ADULTS: WILD: reef habitat and deeper offshore waters [4]. FARM: for details of holding systems crit. 1.

SPAWNERS: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: for details of holding systems crit. 1 and 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: no data found yet.

JUVENILES: stressed by repeated handling [30].

ADULTS: no data found yet.

SPAWNERS: no data found yet.


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

?
Likelihood
M
Potential
L
Certainty

LARVAE: no data found yet.

JUVENILES: lordosis (3.8%) and brachyospondyliosis (1.1%) [11]. 60 mg AMP (L-ascorbyl-2-monophosphate-Mg) per kg of dry diet is recommended, otherwise soft body (AMP-free diet) or kidney and liver degeneration and low hematocrite levels (AMP > 180 mg/kg of dry diet) [20].

ADULTS: 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?

?
Likelihood
M
Potential
L
Certainty

Common slaughter method: no stunning method available [33] [34]. High-standard slaughter method: ikijime recommended in recreational fishing [35]. Further research needed to confirm for farming conditions.


Side note: Domestication

DOMESTICATION LEVEL 3 [36], level 5 being fully domesticated.


Side note: Feeding without components of forage fishery

All age classes: WILD: carnivorous [37] [24] [22]FARM: no data found yet.


Glossary

ADULTS = mature individuals, for details Findings 10.1 Ontogenetic development
CATADROMOUS = migrating from fresh water into the sea to spawn
DOMESTICATION LEVEL 3 = entire life cycle closed in captivity with wild inputs [36]
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
PELAGIC = living independent of bottom and shore of a body of water
SPAWNERS = adults that are kept as broodstock
WILD = setting in the wild


Bibliography

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[33] NOT FOUND
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