Barramundi

Lates calcarifer

Lates calcarifer (Barramundi)
Taxonomy
    • Osteichthyes
      • Perciformes
        • Latidae
          • Lates calcarifer
Distribution
Distribution map: Lates calcarifer (Barramundi)

Information


Author: Maria Filipa Castanheira
Version: 2.0 (2022-01-22) - Revision 1 (2022-06-23)

Cite

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

Cite as: »Castanheira, Maria Filipa. 2022. Lates calcarifer (Farm: Short Profile). In: FishEthoBase, ed. Fish Ethology and Welfare Group. World Wide Web electronic publication. First published 2017-12-29. Version 2.0 Revision 1. https://fishethobase.net.«





FishEthoScore/farm

Lates calcarifer
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

Lates calcarifer is an important coastal, estuarine, and freshwater fish in the Indo-Pacific region. Aquaculture of this species began in the 1970s in Thailand and rapidly spread throughout much of Southeast Asia. Its delicately flavoured meat, fast growth rate, large size, and easy breeding in captivity make it a very attractive species for aquaculture. However, in general, the current available rearing techniques need to be optimised for improving fish welfare as demonstrated in almost all the criteria below. Some limitations of this species have already been identified, such as cannibalism in early life stages that may be improved by using rearing systems with low light intensity and refuges. Further research is needed to identify possible long-term effects on welfare. Stress by pre-slaughter and slaughter method can be avoided using a rested harvest technique. Future research and developmental work should therefore be directed towards resolving some of these welfare limitations. 




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?

There are unclear findings 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

LARVAE: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: intensive: circular tanks: 26 m1, rectangular tanks: 15 m2; extensive: ponds: 0.05-1 ha 1.

JUVENILES: WILD: some morphs are stationary 3 4, others move longer distances 5 4 FARM: cages: 9-100 m2 6.

ADULTS:  JUVENILES.

SPAWNERS: WILD: no data found yet. FARM tanks: 50 m2 2; cages: 16 m7.




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 medium amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

LARVAE: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: intensive: rectangular tanks: 1 m 2; extensive: ponds: <2 m 1.

JUVENILES: WILD: usually 10-40 m 8 9. Mangroves: 0.5-5 m 10; estuary: 2.5-6 m 10; sea: 50-200 m 10FARM: cages: 2-3 m 1

ADULTS:  JUVENILES.

SPAWNERS: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: tanks: 2 m 2, cages: 3 m 6.




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 high amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

CATADROMOUS 11 12.

LARVAE: WILD: migration from the coastal nurseries to the riverine 5 3 4. FARM: reared in seawater 6. For details of holding systems   crit. 1 and 2.

JUVENILESWILDDEMERSAL 12 9. Some morphs move 100-500 km 5 13 4. FARM: ponds: brackish water 10-30 ppt 14. For details of holding systems  crit. 1 and 2.

ADULTS: WILD JUVENILES

SPAWNERS: spawning migration to coastal spawning grounds 5 15. FARM: reared in seawater 6; gradually changes from 20-25 to 30-32 ppt simulating natural conditions 2. For details of holding 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 medium amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

WILD: spawning season varies according to geographical location 16. FARM: hormonal induction of reproduction 6 17, natural spawning through PHOTOPERIOD and temperature manipulation 17 and natural spawning without manipulation 6.




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?

There are unclear findings for minimal and high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a medium amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

LARVAE: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: initial 30 IND/L reduced to 6 IND/L at 20 days post hatch 6; 400,000-900,000 IND/ha 1.

JUVENILES: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: cages: 15-40 kg/m3 1; RAS: 15 kg/m3 1; ponds: 0.3-2 IND/m2 at body weight 20-100 g 1. Stressed by high stocking density 18 and poor water quality associated with high density 19.

ADULTSWILD: no data found yetFARM:  JUVENILES.

SPAWNERS: WILD: spawning aggregations 20. FARM: 1 kg/m2.




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 medium amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

LARVAE: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: cannibalism decreases with size-grading 6. LAB: cannibalistic 7 21 22.

JUVENILES: WILD: aggressive 23. FARM: cannibalism decreases under constant dark conditions 24 and in systems with low light intensity and shelters 25. Further research needed to identify possible long-term effects on welfare.

ADULTS: WILD and FARM: no data found yet.

SPAWNERS: WILD and FARM: no data found yet.




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 medium amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

LARVAE: WILDno data found yetFARM: for details of holding systems ➝ crit. 1 and 2.

JUVENILES: WILD: generally prefer to hide under logs and vegetation 11 26. FARM: for details of holding systems ➝ crit. 3 and 5. LAB: systems with refuges reduce cannibalism 25.

ADULTS JUVENILES.

SPAWNERS: WILD and FARM: no data found yet.




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 high amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

LARVAE: FARM: stressed by diets deficient in fatty acids 27.

JUVENILES: FARM: stressed by catch and release 28, sudden changes in water temperature from 28 ºC to 36 ºC 29. For stress and stocking density crit. 5.

ADULTSFARM: ➝ JUVENILES. LAB: stress by pre-slaughter and slaughter method can be avoided using a rested harvest technique 30.

SPAWNERS: FARM: stressed by handling 2.




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

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

LARVAE: malformed spine in 1.1-7.7% individuals 31; malformed jaw and operculum in 4.2-35.7% 32; malformed jaw and spine in 1.0-22.0% 33.

JUVENILES: no data found yet.

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 slaughter method: hypothermia in ice-water slurry 30. High-standard slaughter method: indications that stunning with 25 mg/L clove oil before slaughter is most effective 30. Further research needed to confirm for farming conditions.




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 4 34, 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 35. FARM: fish meal and fish oil may be partly* replaced by non-forage fishery components 36 37 38 39 40.

*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
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
CATADROMOUS = migrating from fresh water into the sea to spawn
DEMERSAL = living and feeding on or near the bottom of a body of water, mostly benthopelagic, some benthic
PHOTOPERIOD = duration of daylight
IND = individuals
LAB = setting in laboratory environment
DOMESTICATION LEVEL 4 = entire life cycle closed in captivity without wild inputs 34



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