Milkfish

Chanos chanos

Chanos chanos (Milkfish)
Taxonomy
    • Osteichthyes
      • Gonorynchiformes
        • Chanidae
          • Chanos chanos
Distribution
Distribution map: Chanos chanos (Milkfish)

Information


Author: Caroline Marques Maia
Version: 2.0 (2022-05-23) - Revision 1 (2022-06-23)

Cite

Reviewers: María J. Cabrera-Álvarez, Jenny Volstorf
Editor: Jenny Volstorf

Cite as: »Marques Maia, Caroline. 2022. Chanos chanos (Farm: Short Profile). In: FishEthoBase, ed. Fish Ethology and Welfare Group. World Wide Web electronic publication. First published 2022-05-23. Version 2.0 Revision 1. https://fishethobase.net.«





FishEthoScore/farm

Chanos chanos
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

Chanos chanos is a BENTHOPELAGIC Indo-Pacific fish species that is found along continental shelves and around islands of low latitude tropics or in the subtropical northern hemisphere where temperatures are higher than 20 °C. This euryhaline fish can be found in fresh, brackish, and marine waters, occurring in small to large schools near the coasts or around islands where reefs are well developed. It is an AMPHIDROMOUS species: SPAWNERS release eggs in oceanic waters, then older larvae migrate onshore and settle in coastal wetlands like mangroves or estuaries (occasionally entering freshwater lakes), and JUVENILES then migrate back to sea where they mature sexually. C. chanos is especially valued as a food fish in Southeast Asia and also used in game fish as bait. Taiwan, Indonesia, and Philippines – countries that started to culture this fish about 4-6 centuries ago – are the main producers. This fish is tolerant to low concentrations of oxygen and is usually farmed in ponds, pens or cages in wide salinity ranges. Although being able to spawn naturally in captivity, the traditional farming usually depended on an annual restocking of ponds with FINGERLINGS reared from wild-caught FRY. Now farms are obtaining FRY from hatcheries. C. chanos is harvested and marketed mostly fresh or chilled, whole or deboned, frozen or processed. When harvested, individuals are JUVENILES. Thus, farming information about ADULTS are usually restricted to broodstock. Moreover, further studies about home range, aggression, substrate availability in farms, and stunning and slaughtering protocols are still needed for this species.




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

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

LARVAE and FRYWILDPLANKTONIC 1. Older FRY: lagoon: 16,000 m2 2 with unclear home range use. FARM: ponds: 600-2,000 m1 3LARVAE: rearing tanks: 1.5 m 4, 250 L 5; concrete or canvas circular tanks: 5,000-10,000 L 5; circular fiberglass tanks: 600 L 6FRY: canvas tank: 6 m diameter 4; ponds 7: 50 m8 9; tanks: 1 t 10.

JUVENILESWILD: lagoon: 16,000 m2 2 with unclear home range use. FARM: ponds: 180-40,000 m2 11 12 1 13 14 15 3; concrete tanks: 400 m3 4; cages: 1-144 m2 10 16, 6 m2 (3 x 2 m) 17; tanks: 400 L or 5 t 10; pens 7.

ADULTSWILD: no data found yetFARM: all facilities for ADULTS to become SPAWNERS: ponds: 5,000 m2 18; cages: 6-10 m diameter 7 19 20 21; concrete tanks: 60.8 m2 (7.8 x 7.8 m) 5, 94.1 m2 (9.7 x 9.7 m) 5, 10-100 t 21.

SPAWNERSWILD: no data found yetFARM: for ADULTS to become SPAWNERS ADULTS. Ponds 1; circular tanks: 6 m diameter 6 4 or 5,000-30,000 L 22; concrete tanks: 60.8 m2 (7.8 x 7.8 m) 5, 94.1 m(9.7 x 9.7 m) 5, 100 m(10 x 10 m) 18; wooden tanks: 10,000 L 22; canvas-lined tanks: 6 m diameter 20; floating net cages: 10 m diameter 23; cages: 16 m2 (4 x 4 m) 20.




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

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

Eggs: PELAGIC 24 25FARM: incubation tanks: 0.8 m 4.

LARVAE and FRYWILD: LARVAE: PELAGIC until 2-3 weeks 24; 5-325 m 26. FRY: lagoon: < 0.5 m in most parts 2 with unclear depth range use. FARM: ponds: 0.3-3 m 1 3LARVAE: rearing tanks: 1.4 m 4.

JUVENILESWILD: 1-30 m 27-24, usually 15 m 28-24. Lagoon: <0.5 m in most parts 2 with unclear depth range use. Possibly a bottom or substrate feeder in shallow waters 29. FARM: ponds: 0.3-3 m 12 1 14 15 3, 0.4-0.9 m (semi-intensive systems) and 0.9-1.2 m (intensive systems) 13; cages: 1.5-10 m 17 16.

ADULTSWILD: 1-30 m 27-24 30-25, usually 15 m  28-24FARM: all facilities for ADULTS to become SPAWNERS: ponds: 0.7 m 18; concrete tanks: 2 m 5; cages: 3 m 7 21.

SPAWNERSWILD: spawn in the vicinity of shoals 25 or in clear shallow waters 25 24 at a distance of not more than 30 km from the shore 24FARM: for ADULTS to become SPAWNERS ADULTS. Circular tanks: 2 m 4; concrete tanks: 2 m 5 18; canvas-lined tanks: 0.7 m 20; floating net cages: 3 m 23; cages: 2 m 20.




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

AMPHIDROMOUS 25 31-24EURYHALINE 25.

LARVAE and FRYWILD: LARVAE: PELAGIC until 2-3 weeks 24; can grow in waters of ≤32 °C 1; older LARVAE migrate onshore and settle in coastal wetlands in mangroves or estuaries or occasionally enter freshwater lakes 24FRY: 11-13 h PHOTOPERIOD 2 32; lagoon: relatively constant temperature under the mangrove thickets (~27 °C), but varies in the shallow exposed parts (25-40 °C) 2, bay: 25-31 °C 32, lagoon: 20-36‰ 2FARM: FRY: ponds: 11-13 h PHOTOPERIOD 3, 23.9-32.3 °C 8 3, 10.3 ‰ 3. For details of holding systems  crit. 1 and 2.

JUVENILESWILD: migrate from shore to sea where they reach sexual maturity 24. 9-16 h PHOTOPERIOD 24 2; lagoon: relatively constant temperature under the mangrove thickets (~27 °C), but varies in the shallow exposed parts (25-40 °C 2; lagoon: 20-36‰ 2. FARM: ponds: 11-13 h PHOTOPERIOD 14 3; temperature: 18.5-34 °C 14 15 33 3 (mean 27.1-27.2 °C) 14, 3.4-18 ‰ 14 3 (mean 9.4 ‰) 14, 15.4-41.7‰ 12  15 33. Cages: 28.6-31.9 °C 17 16, 33.1-34.8‰ 16. For details of holding systems  crit. 1 and 2.

ADULTSWILD: 9-16 h PHOTOPERIOD 24FARM: all facilities for ADULTS to become SPAWNERS: cages: 11-13 h PHOTOPERIOD 7, 25-33 °C 7 19 20 21, 25-38‰ 7 19 20, 30-35 g/L 21. Concrete tanks: 28-33 °C 5 21, 26-30‰ 5, 30-35 g/L 21. For details of holding systems  crit. 1 and 2.

SPAWNERSWILD: at sea 25, 9-16 h PHOTOPERIOD 34 24; 24.4-24.7 °C 34, spawning in saline waters 1FARM: for ADULTS to become SPAWNERS ADULTS. Concrete tanks: temperature: 28-30 °C 5 18, 26-30‰ 5; circular tanks: 26-30 °C 6 22, 34-36.3‰ 6 22; wooden tanks: 26.4 °C 22, 36.3‰ 22; floating net cages: 29-31 °C 19 23, 27-34‰ 19 23. 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 high for high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a high amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

WILD: mature at 5 years old 1; sex ratio: can vary considerably, including a higher amount of females 1 or higher amount of males 25. Spawn during warm months 35 25 1 with variable duration depending on latitude 25 15, from year-round 29 1 to two spawning seasons (e.g., September-November and January-April in Teouma Bay, Vanuatu 32). FARM: large cages: mature at 5-6 years old 19 20 23 1 or earlier (3.5-5.5 years old) 7; ponds 1 and concrete tanks 5 1: mature at ≤8-10 years; sex ratio: 2-3 males:1 female 22 20. Natural maturation 7 25 and spawning in captivity 7 4 25 23 5 10 1, but low survival rates from eggs to FRY (9.7-23.3%) 5. Attempts of induced spawning by hormonal injections 6 22 19 [19], pellet implantations 22 19 20 or osmotic pumps 19 20 (success rate: hormonal injections 22 19 20 > pellet implantations 22 19 20 > osmotic pumps 19); stripping can be used 6, but no stripping is possible 6 22 19, at least in most cases 20, causing a higher survival of LARVAE 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 and FRYWILD: LARVAE: 1.4-10.9 IND/10,000 m3 26FARM: schooling in tanks 25, 1-2+ million IND/m3 1FRY: ponds: 30-92.5 IND/m8 9 (but densities of ≥1,000 IND/m2 are tolerated 36-25 37-25), better growth at 0.3 than 0.5 IND/m2 in polyculture with Penaeus indicus of overall density of 25.3-25.5 IND/m2 3. Only IND fed diets containing fish meal exhibited schooling during feeding 38.

JUVENILESWILD: occur in small to large schools near the coasts or around islands 24FARM: 1.5 IND/m39. Ponds: schooling (tens-hundreds IND25; 0.2-0.5 IND/m25 14; 5-10 IND/m2 in extensive systems 1, 0.8 IND/m2 in semi-intensive systems 13, 2-20 IND/m2 in intensive systems 1 13; 0.5 IND/m2 in polyculture with male Oreochromis niloticus and Ophicephulus striutus of overall density of 0.6-0.8 IND/m2 11, better growth at 0.3 than 0.5 IND/m2 in polyculture with Penaeus indicus of overall density of 25.3-25.5 IND/m2 3, 0.2 IND/m2 in polyculture with Oreochromis mossambicus with undefined overall density 12, 2.2 IND/m2 in polyculture with Mugil cephalus of overall density of 2.9 IND/m2 15. Pens: 3-3.5 IND/m2 1. Cages: 5-48 IND/m3 1 16, but chronically stressed at 31-48 IND/m3 16. Concrete tanks: 0.3-0.5 kg/m3 4.

ADULTSWILD: occur in small 25 24 1 to large schools 25 (tens-hundreds IND 25) near the coasts or around islands 24 1FARM: all facilities for ADULTS to become SPAWNERS: concrete tanks: 0.2-0.3 IND/m3 5; floating cages: 0.4-0.5 IND/m3 7.

SPAWNERSWILD: schooling 25FARM: for ADULTS to become SPAWNERS ADULTS. Floating cages: 0.2-0.3 IND/m3 23; concrete tanks: 0.2-0.3 IND/m3 5.




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 and FRY: no aggression reported in polyculture with Penaeus indicus, but competition for food is likely 3.

JUVENILES: no aggression reported in polyculture with Oreochromis niloticus and Ophicephulus striutus and competition for food is improbable 11; no aggression reported in polyculture with Penaeus indicus, but competition for food is likely 3; no aggresson reported in polyculture with O. mossambicus 12 or with Mugil cephalus 15.

ADULTSno data found yet.

SPAWNERS: cannibalism of eggs by males and females 23.




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

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

Eggs: WILDPELAGIC 1FARM: incubation tanks 4, fiberglass tanks 5 6 – tanks usually without substrate. For details of holding systems  crit. 2.

LARVAE and FRYWILD: PELAGIC until 2-3 weeks 1FRY: frequently found on sandy or gravelly-rocky substrate 25; lagoon: forested by mangrove with a thick detritus layer and a rich BENTHIC and epiphytic algal and bacterial flora 2FARM: for details of holding systems  crit. 1 and 2.

JUVENILESWILD: lagoon: forested by mangrove with a thick detritus layer and a rich BENTHIC and epiphytic algal and bacterial flora 2FARM: ponds: mangrove and sandy bottom 15. For details of holding systems  crit. 1 and 2.

ADULTSWILD: grazing on rock surfaces and on floating algae 25FARM: for details of holding systems  crit. 1 and 2.

SPAWNERS:  WILD: spawn in clear shallow waters 24 above a bottom of sand-rocky or coral reefs 25 24FARM: for details of holding systems  crit. 1 and 2.




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

FRY: swimming lethargically (and possibly high mortality) probably caused by a decrease in salinity (48 to 6 ppt) and pH (8.2 to 5.2) as a consequence of heavy raining in ponds 8.

JUVENILES: stressed by handling: stressed to the point of mortality by continual seining in ponds 11, 70% of 144 day-old IND with abnormalities and 15% without abnormalities died within 4 h after handling 10. Chronically stressed in cages, possibly due to handling conditions and environmental variations 16. For stress and aggregation  crit. 5.

ADULTS: for ADULTS to become SPAWNERS: stressed (to the point of mortality) by confinement for 8 h in 500 L tanks with chilled aerated seawater at 40-60 kg/m3 simulating transport 21. High mortality (≤80%) of wild-caught IND transported in aerated canvas tanks 18. Highly stressed (to the point of mortality) during and after handling and transport under ambient conditions (30-35 g/L salinity and 28-33 °C) 21. Transport in open tanks with aereated chilled seawater: 0% immediate mortality, but a) 50% mortality at 30 days after transport 4 h and b) immediate stress for 3-7 days (pale colour, no feeding, opaque adipose tissue covering the eyes, swimming randomly near the surface) after 1.5-4 h 21. Transport in bags with aerated chilled seawater: 0-3.5% mortality after transport for 1-10 h 18 21, with the majority having no injuries and recovering normal swimming behavior 5-15 min after transport 18, but no feeding for some days after 1-2 h transport 21 and some IND stressed for week (swimming near the surface, opaque adipose tissue covering the eyes) after 6-7 h transport 18.

SPAWNERS: for ADULTS to become SPAWNERS  ADULTS. Stressed (to the point of 11.9% mortality) by 15-17 h transport in constantly aerated canvas tanks of 2 m3 at 5-6 IND/m3 4. Stressed (including physical damage; to the point of 14-55% mortality) after >6 h of capturing and selecting mature IND for induced spawning from cages of 6-10 m diameter (especially the largest one) 19. Probably stressed when transferred to a different kind of tank (e.g., from cages at broodstock to canvas-lined tanks to spawn) after hormonal injections or pellet implants, delaying the spawning 20.




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 and FRYWILD: absence of branchiostegal rays in 100% FRY 10FARM: LARVAE: deformities in 19-30.7% 5. Decreasing frequency of opercula distortion (11% 5%) with increase in soy lecithin replacing fish oil (0-100%) 40. Abnormalities in 30-90% IND from artificially fertilised eggs and abnormalities in 25-40% IND from naturally fertilised eggs 6FRY: deformed mouths and exposed gills 8; tanks: deformed lower jaw in 7.7%, deformed opercles in 1.2%, asymmetrical or variable number of branchiostegal rays, absence of branchiostegal rays in 42% 10.

JUVENILESWILD: no data found yetFARM: Tanks: abnormalities in 35 day-old hatchery-bred IND: deformed lower jaw in 0.01%, deformed opercles in 31.7%, asymmetrical or variable number of branchiostegal rays, absence of branchiostegal rays in 23% 10, abnormalities in 19% of 144 day-old hatchery-bred IND, abnormalities in 36% of 220 day-old IND: cleft on the branchiostegal membrane in 23%, deformed or from partial to total absence of branchiostegal rays in 21%, deformed operculum in 17% 10; wild-caught FRY reared in tanks for 14 days: asymmetrical number of branchiostegal rays in 3%, wild-caught FRY reared in tanks for 39-45 days: missing rays in 2% 10. Ponds: abnormalities in 3-26% of 50-99 day-old IND: predominantly cleft on the branchiostegal membrane, deformed or from partial to total absence of branchiostegal rays, deformed operculum 10.

ADULTSWILD and FARM: 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?

There are no findings for minimal and high-standard farming conditions.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

Common and high-standard slaughter method: no data found yet.




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 41, 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)?

WILD: omnivorous 24 29 25 1 42, mainly feeding on blue-green algae 11, but FRY and JUVENILES also on detritus and plant materials 2 and FRY on plankton 24 11 1. FARM: fertilised ponds with no supplementary feeding is possible 24 14 15 33, but supplemental feeding (e.g., rice bran or copra meal) is used for better growth 24 14. Fish meal may not be replaced in FRY 9, but may be completely* replaced by sustainable resources for JUVENILES 17LABFRY: fish meal may be not 38 to partly* 43 44 replaced by sustainable or non-forage fishery sources; fish oil may be partly* 44 to completely* replaced by sustainable sources, with better growth and survival when mostly* replaced 40JUVENILES: fish meal may be partly* replaced by sustainable sources 42.

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




Glossary


BENTHOPELAGIC = living and feeding near the bottom of a body of water, floating above the floor
AMPHIDROMOUS = migrating between fresh water and sea independent of spawning
SPAWNERS = adults that are kept as broodstock
JUVENILES = fully developed but immature individuals, for details Findings 10.1 Ontogenetic development
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
ADULTS = mature individuals, for details Findings 10.1 Ontogenetic development
LARVAE = hatching to mouth opening, for details Findings 10.1 Ontogenetic development
WILD = setting in the wild
PLANKTONIC = horizontal movement limited to hydrodynamic displacement
FARM = setting in farming environment or under conditions simulating farming environment in terms of size of facility or number of individuals
PELAGIC = living independent of bottom and shore of a body of water
EURYHALINE = tolerant of a wide range of salinities
PHOTOPERIOD = duration of daylight
IND = individuals
BENTHIC = living at the bottom of a body of water, able to rest on the floor
DOMESTICATION LEVEL 4 = entire life cycle closed in captivity without wild inputs 41
LAB = setting in laboratory environment



Bibliography


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