Atlantic halibut

Hippoglossus hippoglossus

Hippoglossus hippoglossus (Atlantic halibut)
Taxonomy
    • Osteichthyes
      • Pleuronectiformes
        • Pleuronectidae
          • Hippoglossus hippoglossus
Distribution
Distribution map: Hippoglossus hippoglossus (Atlantic halibut)

Information


Author: João L. Saraiva
Version: 2.0 (2021-12-22) - Revision 1 (2022-06-23)

Cite

Reviewers: Pablo Arechavala-Lopez, Jenny Volstorf
Editor: Billo Heinzpeter Studer

Cite as: »Saraiva, João L.. 2022. Hippoglossus hippoglossus (Farm: Short Profile). In: FishEthoBase, ed. Fish Ethology and Welfare Group. World Wide Web electronic publication. First published 2017-07-21. Version 2.0 Revision 1. https://fishethobase.net.«





FishEthoScore/farm

Hippoglossus hippoglossus
LiPoCe
Criteria
Home range
Depth range
Migration
Reproduction
Aggregation
Aggression
Substrate
Stress
Malformations
Slaughter


Condensed assessment of the species' likelihood and potential for good fish welfare in aquaculture, based on ethological findings for 10 crucial criteria.

Li = Likelihood that the individuals of the species experience good welfare under minimal farming conditions
Po = Potential of the individuals of the species to experience good welfare under high-standard farming conditions
Ce = Certainty of our findings in Likelihood and Potential

FishEthoScore = Sum of criteria scoring "High" (max. 10)

Legend

High
Medium
Low
Unclear
No findings



General remarks

Hippoglossus hippoglossus is a slow growing, cold water flatfish that can reach up to nearly 5 m and over 300 kg. It is endangered due to overfishing. It has a high market value, hence it has been in the focus of the aquaculture industry. However, its particular biology and life history makes this species inadequate to be farmed in welfare. Namely, its home and depth ranges are far greater than any method can satisfy, its reproduction is still largely dependent on invasive induction, it displays aggressive behaviour, requires specific shelter and substrate, and is very sensitive to common farming procedures. In addition due to its slow growth it requires many years of investment, and the metamorphosis in early stages demands extra good rearing conditions in order to produce healthy individuals. Potential for improvement lies principally in providing better conditions for non-induced spawning and proper feeding regimes to avoid aggression.




1  Home range

Many species traverse in a limited horizontal space (even if just for a certain period of time per year); the home range may be described as a species' understanding of its environment (i.e., its cognitive map) for the most important resources it needs access to. What is the probability of providing the species' whole home range in captivity?

It is low for minimal and high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a high amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

LARVAE: WILD: pelagic, planktonic 1: passive dispersal. FARM: cylindro conical tanks: 700-13,000 L 2 3; silos: 15,000 L 2LAB: raceways: 1.0 x 0.4 m 4.

JUVENILES: WILD:  large variation in distance covered 2 5 up to ca 30 km in one day or 100 km in 1 month 6. FARM: tanks: 5-10 m diameter 7 8, sometimes 24 m 7. Sea cages: adapted from salmon 8 3, max 24 x 24 m or 100 m diameter  7 9. Horizontal shelves are often used  8 3 7.

ADULTS: WILD: >25 km in 7 months 1, median 27 km, max 3141 km in 3 years 5. FARM:   JUVENILES.

SPAWNERS: WILD:  Adults. FARM: tanks: 5-15 m diameter 7 3.




2  Depth range

Given the availability of resources (food, shelter) or the need to avoid predators, species spend their time within a certain depth range. What is the probability of providing the species' whole depth range in captivity?

It is low for minimal and high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a high amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

Eggs: WILD: PELAGIC, planktonic 10 1. FARM: cylindro-conical tanks: ca 1 m 2.

LARVAE: WILD: PELAGIC, planktonic 1. FARM: silos: 4 m 2; raceways: 0.1-0.2 m 4.

JUVENILES: WILD: BENTHIC  2, 20 - 60 m 2. FARM: tanks: ca 1-3 m, cages 3-7 m 3.

ADULTS: WILD: BENTHIC  2, 250-800 m 1.  FARM: -see Juveniles.

SPAWNERS: BENTHIC  2. WILD: below 800 m 1. FARM: tanks: 1 - 2 m 7 3.




3  Migration

Some species undergo seasonal changes of environments for different purposes (feeding, spawning, etc.) and with them, environmental parameters (photoperiod, temperature, salinity) may change, too. What is the probability of providing farming conditions that are compatible with the migrating or habitat-changing behaviour of the species?

It is low for minimal and high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a medium amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

OCEANODROMOUS 2.

LARVAEWILDPELAGIC, planktonic: passive dispersal 10 2 1FARM: cylindro conical tanks 2 3, silos 2 or raceways 4. For details on rearing systems  crit 1 and 2.

JUVENILESWILD: puberty related migration out of shallower nursery areas 2 1 into deeper waters 11 12FARM: tanks 7 8 7, sea cages adapted from salmon 8 3 7 9. Horizontal shelves are often used  8 3 7

ADULTSWILD: usually found on sand, gravel or clay; not on soft mud or on rock bottom 12. Migrate between forage and spawning grounds 1Homing towards repeated spawning spots 13 13 14 - 2 15Disperse to several habitats (inshore, offshore, shallower and deeper) after spawning 13 14 - 2FARM JUVENILES

SPAWNERS:WILD  Adults. FARM: tanks 7 3. For details on rearing systems  crit 1 and 2.




4  Reproduction

A species reproduces at a certain age, season, and sex ratio and possibly involving courtship rituals. What is the probability of the species reproducing naturally in captivity without manipulation?

It is low for minimal farming conditions. It is medium for high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a high amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

WILD: Spawns December-March 2 in deep waters over mud or clay substrate 16 2 1 at 5-7 ºC 2 11. Annual, group-synchronous spawners 11. FARM: phototermal manipulation 3 and manual stripping are common 3 17 although natural spawning can occur 18. Suggested handling stress associated with female stripping 19. Bottlenecks include low supply of quality eggs 17. Textured substrate in tanks prevent lesions 2.




5  Aggregation

Species differ in the way they co-exist with conspecifics or other species from being solitary to aggregating unstructured, casually roaming in shoals or closely coordinating in schools of varying densities. What is the probability of providing farming conditions that are compatible with the aggregation behaviour of the species?

It is low for minimal and high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a high amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

LARVAE: WILD and FARM: no data found yet.

JUVENILESWILD: Suggested to be solitary 2. FARM: flatfish, remain on the bottom hence aggregation measured in kg per unit area. Up to 50-75 kg/m2, ca 10 -13 ind/m2  at preferred harvest weight of 5 kg 3, reared in multiple layers in shelves 8 3. Increasing stocking density negatively influences behaviour and growth 20.

ADULTS JUVENILES.

SPAWNERS: WILD: data suggests spawning aggregations 2 20. FARM: Mostly artificial spawning 8 3 17. Holding tanks for spawners: reccommended 15 kg/m2 3. Natural spawning tanks: 17 mature males and 3 mature females in 10 m2 18.




6  Aggression

There is a range of adverse reactions in species, spanning from being relatively indifferent towards others to defending valuable resources (e.g., food, territory, mates) to actively attacking opponents. What is the probability of the species being non-aggressive and non-territorial in captivity?

It is low for minimal farming conditions. It is medium for high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a low amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

LARVAE: no data found yet.

JUVENILES: feeding-related aggression leading to eye injury is common 21 22 and negatively correlated with size 21. Proper feeding regimes mitigate the problem 21 22.

ADULTS: aggression decreases as size increases 21.

SPAWNERS: no aggression reported in the literature.




7  Substrate

Depending on where in the water column the species lives, it differs in interacting with or relying on various substrates for feeding or covering purposes (e.g., plants, rocks and stones, sand and mud). What is the probability of providing the species' substrate and shelter needs in captivity?

It is low for minimal farming conditions. It is medium for high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a high amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

Eggs: WILD: PELAGIC, planktonic 10 2 1FARM: aerated cylindro-conical tanks 2.

LARVAE: WILD: see eggs. FARM: require shading for UV protection 23.

JUVENILES: WILD: BENTHIC in deep waters with absence of direct light 2FARM: develop skin lesions and papilloma disease in barren, smooth bottom tanks 24. Sand substrate reduces lesions but increases mortality 22. Silicone 22 or plastic, irregular substrate 24 improves skin condition. Require shading for UV protection 25.

ADULTS:  JUVENILES.

SPAWNERS:  JUVENILES.




8  Stress

Farming involves subjecting the species to diverse procedures (e.g., handling, air exposure, short-term confinement, short-term crowding, transport), sudden parameter changes or repeated disturbances (e.g., husbandry, size-grading). What is the probability of the species not being stressed?

It is low for minimal farming conditions. It is medium for high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a medium amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

Eggs: mechanical stress increases mortality 26.

LARVAE: very sensitive to physical stress 27 28. For stress and abnormalities ➝ crit. 9.

JUVENILES: confinement, handling, exercise and tank water level reduction induce stress 7. Anaesthesia procedure induces stress 29. For stress and stocking density ➝ crit. 5.

ADULTS: ➝ JUVENILES.

SPAWNERS: for stress and stripping ➝ crit. 4.




9  Malformations

Deformities that – in contrast to diseases – are commonly irreversible may indicate sub-optimal rearing conditions (e.g., mechanical stress during hatching and rearing, environmental factors unless mentioned in crit. 3, aquatic pollutants, nutritional deficiencies) or a general incompatibility of the species with being farmed. What is the probability of the species being malformed rarely?

It is low for minimal farming conditions. It is medium for high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a medium amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

Eggs: no data found yet.

LARVAE: 17% mouth abnormalities when reared at 2-6º C, 89% when at 10 ºC 30. 17% deformities when reared in the dark, 35-42 % when reared >3 lux 30. Supplementation during artemia feeding can decrease problems occuring during metamorphosis 31 32.

JUVENILES: 41-89% of skeletal abnormalities 33.

ADULTS: no data found yet.




10  Slaughter

The cornerstone for a humane treatment is that slaughter a) immediately follows stunning (i.e., while the individual is unconscious), b) happens according to a clear and reproducible set of instructions verified under farming conditions, and c) avoids pain, suffering, and distress. What is the probability of the species being slaughtered according to a humane slaughter protocol?

It is low for minimal farming conditions. It is medium for high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a medium amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

Common and high-standard slaughter method: a protocol for humane harvesting is available. Stunning is recommended to be performed either by percussion pistol to the head or through electricity (electric fields of 1 V/cm, 50 Hz sinusoidal AC, applied in seawater for durations longer than 10 seconds), followed by immediate bleeding through severing the gill arches 34.




11  Side note: Domestication

Teletchea and Fontaine introduced 5 domestication levels illustrating how far species are from having their life cycle closed in captivity without wild input, how long they have been reared in captivity, and whether breeding programmes are in place. What is the species’ domestication level?

DOMESTICATION LEVEL 3 35, level 5 being fully domesticated.




12  Side note: Forage fish in the feed

450-1,000 milliard wild-caught fishes end up being processed into fish meal and fish oil each year which contributes to overfishing and represents enormous suffering. There is a broad range of feeding types within species reared in captivity. To what degree may fish meal and fish oil based on forage fish be replaced by non-forage fishery components (e.g., poultry blood meal) or sustainable sources (e.g., soybean cake)?

All age classes: WILD: Carnivorous 2.  FARM: Fish meal may be partly* replaced by non-forage fishery components 36 37 38.

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




Glossary


LARVAE = hatching to mouth opening, for details Findings 10.1 Ontogenetic development
WILD = setting in the wild
FARM = setting in farming environment or under conditions simulating farming environment in terms of size of facility or number of individuals
LAB = setting in laboratory environment
JUVENILES = fully developed but immature individuals, for details Findings 10.1 Ontogenetic development
ADULTS = mature individuals, for details Findings 10.1 Ontogenetic development
SPAWNERS = adults that are kept as broodstock
PELAGIC = living independent of bottom and shore of a body of water
BENTHIC = living at the bottom of a body of water, able to rest on the floor
OCEANODROMOUS = living and migrating in the sea
DOMESTICATION LEVEL 3 = entire life cycle closed in captivity with wild inputs 35



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