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 1 1 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

Cirrhinus mrigala is – besides Labeo catla and L. rohita – one of the three Indian major carps cultivated widely in Southeast Asian countries. This species can be found in fresh waters of northern India, Bangladesh, Burma, and Pakistan and has been introduced into waters of other parts of India and adjacent countries – including China – and to parts of Asia as well as Europe. Despite that, there is limited information about this species in natural conditions, especially about substrate and aggregation needs. C. mrigala is often raised in polyculture systems with other carps, and structures such as bamboo poles can be used as periphyton substrate in these systems, reducing competition for food between carps with different feeding habits. This species has a narrow range in food variety. As a bottom feeder, complete harvesting of C. mrigala is possible only through draining, and such difficulty makes this species the least preferred one among the three Indian major carps for farmers. Moreover, its entire life cycle is closed in captivity, but apparently it is still necessary to induce the reproduction by hormonal manipulation. Information about adults under farming conditions is scarce, probably because this species is sold before reaching maturity. C. mrigala is mostly sold fresh in local markets, but it is a common practice that fishes are harvested, packed with crushed ice at a ratio of 1:1 in rectangular plastic crates, and transported – sometimes for long distances – to be sold as fresh as possible. Thus, post-harvest processing of this species is almost non-existent. Further research is needed on the stunning and slaughter process, besides the stress response of this species. 


1. Are minimal farming conditions likely to provide the home range of the species? What overall welfare potential can be achieved? How certain are these findings?

?
Likelihood
?
Potential
M
Certainty

LARVAE and FRYWILD: no data found yetFARM: for carps in general, earthen ponds: 100-1,000 m2 [1]; tanks: 1.4 m2 (1.2 x 1.2 m) [1]. Further research needed to determine whether this applies to C. mrigala as well.

JUVENILES: WILD: no data found yetFARM: earthen ponds: 40 m2 (8 x 5 m) [2] [3], 75 m2 (7.5 x 10 m) [4], 200 m2 [5], 170-420 m2 [4], 800 m2 (40 x 20 m) [6]; raceways: 102.1 m2 (6.7 x 15.2 m) [7]; rainwater reservoirs: 200 m2 (50 x 4 m) [8].

ADULTSWILD: no data found yet. FARM: no data found yet.

SPAWNERS: WILD: no data found yetFARM: cemented cisterns: 2.4 m diameter [9]. For carps in general, earthen ponds: 20-30 m or 2,000-25,000 m2 [1]; storage tanks: 200 m2 (10 x 20 m), 450 m2 (15 x 30 m) [1]; breeding tanks: 3.8 m2 (2.5 x 1.5 m), 8 m2 (4 x 2 m), 18.8 m2 (7.5 x 2.5 m), 2 m diameter [1]. Further research needed to determine whether this applies to C. mrigala as well.


2. Are minimal farming conditions likely to provide the depth range of the species? What overall welfare potential can be achieved? How certain are these findings?

L
Likelihood
M
Potential
M
Certainty

LARVAE and FRYWILD: no data found yet. FARM: for carps in general, earthen ponds: 0.5-1.2 m [1]; tanks: 1.2 m [1]. Further research needed to determine whether this applies to C. mrigala as well.

JUVENILESWILD: caught in dams (average 8 m, max 11 m) [10] and reservoirs (average 14 m, max 28 m) [11] with unclear depth range use. FARM: ponds: 0.8-1.8 m [4] [6] [2] [3] [5]; rainwater reservoirs: 1.0-1.8 m [8].

ADULTSWILD: caught in dams (average 8 m, max 11 m) [10] with unclear depth range use. FARM: for carps in general, earthen ponds: 0.8-2 m [1]. Further research needed to determine whether this applies to C. mrigala as well.

SPAWNERSWILD: no data found yetFARM: separate cemented cisterns: 0.9 m [9]. For carps in general, earthen ponds: 1.0-2.5 m or deeper depending on climate zone [1]; storage tanks: 1.0-1.5 m [1]; breeding tanks: 1 m [1]. Further research needed to determine whether this applies to C. mrigala as well.


3. Are minimal farming conditions compatible with the migrating or habitat-changing behaviour of the species? What overall welfare potential can be achieved? How certain are these findings?

L
Likelihood
M
Potential
M
Certainty

POTAMODROMOUS [12] [13].

LARVAE and FRYWILD: no data found yetFARM: 29 °C, salinity 0.3 ppt, fresh water [14]. For details of holding systems ➝ crit. 1 and 2.

JUVENILESWILD: 10-14 h photoperiod, fresh water [10] [15] [16] [11] [17]. Younger ones (12-18 cm) migrate from beels (ponds) to rivers during late monsoon for refuge, older ones (18.9-30 cm) migrate back during early monsoon for foraging [18]. FARM: ponds: 25.8-29.4 °C [2] [3] [14], range 21-33 °C [4] [6], salinity 0.2-0.4 ppt, fresh water [14]; rainwater reservoirs: range 26.8-31.9 °C, fresh water [8]. For details of holding systems ➝ crit. 1 and 2.

ADULTSWILD: 11-13 h photoperiod, fresh water [10] [16] [17]. Migrate from rivers to beels during early monsoon for foraging [18]. FARM: for details of holding systems ➝ crit. 1.

SPAWNERSWILD: 11-13 h photoperiod, fresh water [10] [16]. Migrate from rivers to beels during early monsoon for spawning [18]. FARM: 25-28 °C [19] [14], salinity 0.5 ppt, fresh water [14]. For details of holding systems ➝ crit. 1 and 2.


4. Is the species likely to reproduce in captivity without manipulation? What overall welfare potential can be achieved? How certain are these findings?

L
Likelihood
L
Potential
M
Certainty

WILD: mature at 2 years old [16] [20] and spawn once a year [16] during monsoon in April-September depending on latitude [21] [1]. FARM: induced spawning using pituitary extract or ovaprim releasing hormone at a sex ratio of 2 females:1 male [19]; induced spawning during the summer by supplementing the diet with protein-rich pulses while also lowering the environmental temperature from 42 °C to 27 °C [22]. Not very successful attempts to advance spawning by combination of above-average temperatures with long photoperiod and ovaprim injection to January-February (off-spawning season), sex ratio: 2 females:1 male [9]. For carps in general, in storage tanks, spawners are kept separated by sex [1]. Further research needed to determine whether this applies to C. mrigala as well. LAB: induced spawning with good fertilisation and hatching success at a high dose of LH-RH analogue, whereas using pimozide to induce spawning required stripping and resulted in lower fertilisation and hatching success [23].


5. Is the aggregation imposed by minimal farming conditions likely to be compatible with the natural behaviour of the species? What overall welfare potential can be achieved? How certain are these findings?

?
Likelihood
?
Potential
M
Certainty

LARVAE and FRY: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: for carps in general, earthen ponds: 1,000 IND/m2 for LARVAE in nursery ponds, 12.5-25 IND/m2 for FRY in breeding ponds [1]. Further research needed to determine whether this applies to C. mrigala as well. LAB: recirculating systems: better survival and growth at 7-8 IND/L than 10 IND/L [24].

JUVENILESWILD: no data found yetFARM: ponds: 0.1-0.3 IND/m2 in polyculture with 2-4 other carp species of overall density of 0.8-1.2 IND/m2 [4] [6] [2] [3] [7]; rainwater reservoirs: better growth and survival at 0.2-0.3 than 0.4 IND/m2 in polyculture with 2 other carp species of overall density of 0.5-0.8 IND/m2 than 1.1 IND/m2 [8].

ADULTS: WILD and FARM no data found yet.

SPAWNERS: WILD and FARM: no data found yet.


6. Is the species likely to be non-aggressive and non-territorial? What overall welfare potential can be achieved? How certain are these findings?

H
Likelihood
H
Potential
L
Certainty

FRYWILDno data found yet. FARM: no aggression reported when transported for 6 h in plastic bags with 2 other carp species [25].

JUVENILESWILDno data found yet. FARM: no aggression reported in polycultures [1] [4] [6] [2] [3] [7].

ADULTSWILD and FARMno data found yet.

SPAWNERSWILD and FARMno data found yet.


7. Are minimal farming conditions likely to match the natural substrate and shelter needs of the species? What overall welfare potential can be achieved? How certain are these findings?

L
Likelihood
M
Potential
M
Certainty

Eggs: WILDno data found yetFARM: for carps in general, double-walled hapa nets (e.g., mosquito netting and whole cloth) to protect from predators [1]. Further research needed to determine whether this applies to C. mrigala as well.

LARVAE and FRY: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: for details of holding systems ➝ crit. 1 and 2.

JUVENILES: WILD: no data found yetFARM: ponds: 4-10 vertically planted bamboo poles/m2 [4] (1.8 m length, 1.5 cm diameter) [3], 0.2 m2 rice straw mats/m2 [3] or 0.05 mbamboo mats/m2 fixed with bamboo poles as periphyton substrate [6]. For details of holding systems ➝ crit. 1 and 2.

ADULTSWILD and FARM: no data found yet.

SPAWNERSWILD: 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? What overall welfare potential can be achieved? How certain are these findings?

?
Likelihood
?
Potential
L
Certainty

FRYFARM: stressed (to the point of mortality) by 6 h transport in plastic bags at 150-200 IND/L [25].

JUVENILESFARMno data found yet. LAB: stressed under a temperature range of 31-36 °C when previously acclimated to a temperature of 26 °C [26]

ADULTSFARMno data found yet.

SPAWNERSFARMno data found yet.


9. Are malformations of this species likely to be rare under farming conditions? What overall welfare potential can be achieved? How certain are these findings?

L
Likelihood
M
Potential
M
Certainty

Eggs: for Indian major carps including C. mrigala, eggs <2.4 mm diameter of pre-monsoon spawning resulted in undifferentiated cephalic mass in 60% [27].

LARVAE: for Indian major carps including C. mrigala, malformations in 0.5-1% during monsoon, 1-3% during pre-monsoon, 2-5% during post-monsoon: indeterminate embryonic mass, undifferentiated cephalic mass, unusual coelomic cavity and yolk sac, axial imparity (e.g., curvature of notochord, stump tail), microsomia, and combinations [27]. For carps in general, malformations due to insufficient nutrition [1]. Further research needed to determine whether this applies to C. mrigala as well.

JUVENILES: multiple morphological and vertebral anomalies probably due to multiple factors [14] or the use of pesticides in agricultural fields [15] <1% [14]: deformed post dorsal region, overlapping fins, abnormal humps, domes, troughs, depressions, and bulges, truncated post dorsal region, truncated disposition of fins, truncated or absent caudal region [14] [15], reduced mouth, protruded lips, shorter head, and degenerated fin [15].

ADULTS: no data found yet.


10. Is a humane slaughter protocol likely to be applied under minimal farming conditions? What overall welfare potential can be achieved? How certain are these findings?

L
Likelihood
M
Potential
L
Certainty

Common slaughter method: asphyxia on ice [28]. High-standard slaughter method: no data found yet.


Side note: Domestication

DOMESTICATION LEVEL 4 [29], level 5 being fully domesticated.


Side note: Feeding without components of forage fishery

All age classes: WILD: detritivorous [1], bottom feeder [1] [30] and omnivorous [30]FARM: fish meal may be partly* [5] to mostly* [7] replaced by sustainable sources. LAB: fish oil [31] [32] and fish meal may be partly* replaced by sustainable sources, especially when the diet is supplemented with 1,000 phytase activity units/kg [32].

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


Glossary

ADULTS = mature individuals, for details Findings 10.1 Ontogenetic development
DOMESTICATION LEVEL 4 = entire life cycle closed in captivity without wild inputs [29]
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
POTAMODROMOUS = migrating within fresh water
SPAWNERS = adults that are kept as broodstock
WILD = setting in the wild


Bibliography

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