Kaluga

Huso dauricus

Huso dauricus (Kaluga)
Taxonomy
    • Osteichthyes
      • Acipenseriformes
        • Acipenseridae
          • Huso dauricus

Information


Author: María J. Cabrera-Álvarez
Version: 2.0 (2022-01-22) - Revision 1 (2022-07-20)

Cite

Reviewers: Jenny Volstorf, Pablo Arechavala-Lopez
Editor: Jenny Volstorf

Cite as: »Cabrera-Álvarez, María J.. 2022. Huso dauricus (Farm: Short Profile). In: FishEthoBase, ed. Fish Ethology and Welfare Group. World Wide Web electronic publication. First published 2021-11-18. Version 2.0 Revision 1. https://fishethobase.net.«





FishEthoScore/farm

Huso dauricus
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

Huso dauricus is a long-lived, late-maturing, and critically endangered sturgeon species endemic in the Amur basin. There are four populations: one lives in the estuaries and brackish waters of the Sea of Okhotsk and Sea of Japan, the second in the lower Amur, the third in the middle Amur, and the forth in the lower parts of the Zeya and Bureya rivers (Amur tributaries). H. dauricus' eggs are very valuable in the market, however, its meat is not as popular as the meat of other local fishes. Therefore, profitable H. dauricus farming is focused on eggs production. Russian and Chinese authorities enforce H. dauricus farms to do regular restocking of the wild populations. H. dauricus' late-maturing state and long period between spawning events make their farming very costly. Some farms specialised in the more profitable hybrid of Acipenser schrenckii x H. dauricus. However, farming of H. dauricus is strongly recommended to restock the decimated wild populations. Therefore, an effort should be made to study their needs in the wild, such as home range and social behaviour, and the best way to implement them in captivity, including a way to simulate their long migration, to reproduce them without forced maturation, and to slaughter them in a humane way.




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 low amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

LARVAE and FRY: WILDno data found yet. FARM: fibreglass tanks: 1.8 m diameter 1 2; circular flow-through rearing tanks: 1,400L 3. For sturgeons (in general) cultured in China: fibreglass tanks: 1 m diameter 4; cement ponds 4, ponds, and net cages 5.

JUVENILES: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: tanks: 0.8 m2 (1 x 0.8 m) 6. For sturgeons (in general) cultured in China: cement tanks 4, cages 4, ponds, and net cages 5.

ADULTS: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: for sturgeons (in general) cultured in China: cement tanks 4, cages 4, ponds, and net cages 5.

SPAWNERS: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: concrete tanks: 100 m2 7.




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 low amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

LARVAE and FRY: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: fibreglass tanks: 0.4 m 1. LAB: preference for 0.2 m above the tank bottom 1, >3.3 m during migration and ≤1 m after migration 3.

JUVENILES: WILD: caught in estuary of <5 m 8 with unclear depth range use. Caught at 7-8 m in river 9. FARM: 0.6 m 6. LAB: preference for ≤0.5 m 3.

ADULTS: WILD: caught in estuary of <5 m 8 with unclear depth range use. FARM: no data found yet.

SPAWNERS: WILD: spawns at 2-3 m 10, <3-11 m 7. FARM: concrete tanks: 1.5 m 7.




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 low amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

Two strains: one ANADROMOUS, one POTAMODROMOUS 11.

ANADROMOUS strain:

LARVAE and FRY: WILD drift downstream to lower Amur and estuaries 11. FARM: natural lighting and PHOTOPERIOD 1. For details of holding systems  crit. 1 and 2. LAB: downstream migration after hatching mostly at night, with some daily upstream migration after day 17 1.

JUVENILES: WILD: 0-3 years old: in Amur channel, 3-5 years old: some migration to Amur lagoon for feeding, 7+-13+ years old: mostly at Amur lagoon for feeding 12. Caught in coastal sea waters 13-11 including coast of Hokkaido, Japan (~1,000 km from Amur estuary) 14 15. Migration to sea at north of estuary (110 km) for feeding in July-Sept (6-16.5 °C) 8. Salinity range: 0-25‰, preference for <7.5‰ 8. Die at salinities of 29-30‰ and temperatures <0 °C if they can't reach the river in time after seawater currents enter the estuaries 16-11. Sakhalin river population: 8-16 h PHOTOPERIOD, 11-16 °C in June-July 9. FARM: for details of holding systems  crit. 1 and 2.

ADULTS: WILD: 20-25% of the estuary population: brackish water morph (winter in river or estuary, late June-early July migration to downstream brackish water of estuaries or to the sea at salinities of 12-16‰, return to river in autumn) 11. Stop feeding during winter 17-11 18-11 19-11 20-11 21-11. FARM: for details of holding systems  crit. 1.

SPAWNERS: WILD: migrate 80-1,000 km (mostly 80-180 km) from estuaries or lower Amur to the spawning sites at Amur river 22-11 in mid August for 55 days 23 to spawn in spring 22-11. 5% 11 migrate in mid May for 35 days 23. Stop feeding during migrations and return to estuaries after spawning to feed 11. FARM: natural light conditions 7, 3-6 months overwintering 7. For details of holding systems  crit. 1 and 2.

POTAMODROMOUS strain:

LARVAE and FRY: WILD drift downstream to lower Amur 11. FARM: natural lighting and PHOTOPERIOD 1. For details of holding systems  crit. 1 and 2. LAB: downstream migration after hatching mostly at night, with some daily upstream migration after day 17 1.

JUVENILES: WILD: 75-80% of the estuary population: freshwater morph (feed in freshwater only) 11. Sakhalin river population: 8-16 h PHOTOPERIOD, 11-16 °C in June-July 9. FARM: for details of holding systems  crit. 1 and 2.

ADULTS: WILD: 75-80% of the estuary population: freshwater morph (feed in freshwater only) 11. FARM: for details of holding systems  crit. 1.

SPAWNERS: WILD: migrates 80-1,000 km (mostly 80-180 km) from lower Amur to the spawning sites at Amur river in autumn-early winter to spawn in spring 22-11. 5% migrate in spring 11. Stop feeding during migrations and return to lower Amur after spawning to feed 11. FARM: natural light conditions 7, 3-6 months overwintering 7. 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 and high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a medium amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

WILD: spawning in May-June, in upstream rivers, at 15-21 °C 24 11 10. Males spawn for the first time at 14-21 years, females at 17-23 years 11. Recent studies show later maturation: males at 18 years, females at 21 25 23. Females mature earlier with warmer waters 11. Males spawn once every 3-4 years, females once every 4-5 years 19-11 22-11. No feeding during migration/spawning 17-11 18-11 19-11 20-11 21-11. FARM: for H. huso, biopsy or minimally invasive laparoscopy to identify sex and assess maturity 26. Further research needed to determine whether this applies to H. dauricus as well. When reaching a certain weight, also non-invasive assessment via ultrasonography 27. Induced ovulation (and spermiation 7) by hormonal injection 1 7 at 5 (males) and 8 (females) years old 7. Gametes extraction 1 by cannula (males) and surgery (females) 7 – the latter under anaesthesia 27 – and manual fertilisation 1 7. Artificial reproduction using wild spawners 5. Not fed during final maturation to simulate natural behaviour 7.




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 low amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

LARVAE and FRY: WILD and FARM: no data found yet.

JUVENILES: WILD: dense concentrations when feeding on migratory prey 28. Max 174.3-472.3 IND/km2 in estuary or upstream 8 29, 37.3-92.0 IND/km2 depending on salinity 8 29, 3.3-20.7 IND/km2 depending on river stretch 8 29. No aggregations in estuary or coastal waters 28. FARM: no data found yet.

ADULTS: WILD: dense concentrations when feeding on migratory prey 28. Max 174.3-472.3 IND/km2 in estuary or upstream 8 29, 37.3-92.0 IND/km2 depending on salinity 8 29, 3.3-20.7 IND/km2 depending on river stretch 8 29. Solitary 10, no aggregations in estuary or coastal waters 28. FARM: no data found yet.

SPAWNERS: WILD: dense concentrations 28. FARM: no data found yet.




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?

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

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

LARVAE and FRY: WILD and FARM: no data found yet.

JUVENILES: WILD: frequent cannibalism 11 28. FARM: no data found yet.

ADULTS: WILD: frequent cannibalism 11 28. 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?

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

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

LARVAE and FRY: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: natural lighting, rearing tank partially covered for shade, 8 cm rocks at tank bottom for cover 1. LAB: preference for illuminated areas, white substrate (vs. black), and open habitat (vs. covered with rocks) 1 3.

JUVENILES: WILD and FARM: no data found yet. LAB: preference for illuminated areas, white substrate (vs. black), and open habitat (vs. covered with rocks) 3.

ADULTS: WILD and FARM: no data found yet.

SPAWNERS: calm waters and gravel bottoms with pebble deposits 30-11 24 10 or sand 10. 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?

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

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

LARVAE and FRY: no data found yet.

JUVENILES: no data found yet.

ADULTS: no data found yet.

SPAWNERS: no data found yet.




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?

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

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

LARVAE and FRY: WILD and FARM: no data found yet.

JUVENILES: WILD: deformed gills 31. FARM: no data found yet.

ADULTS: WILD: deformed gills 31. 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?

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

Common slaughter method: for H. huso, hypothermia by immersion in ice-water slurry 32. High-standard slaughter method: for the related Acipenser ruthenus, A. naccarii, A. gueldenstaedtii, A. ruthenus, A. stellatus, percussive stunning through manual spiking or percussive gun performed by experienced staff, followed by bleeding 33; for A. baerii, electronarcosis and percussive stunning by spiking, followed by bleeding 34. Further research needed to determine whether this applies to H. dauricus as well.




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 7, 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 24, with focus on invertebrates in JUVENILES and fishes in ADULTS 11. FARM: no data found yet.




Glossary


LARVAE = hatching to mouth opening, for details Findings 10.1 Ontogenetic development
FRY = larvae from external feeding on, 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
LAB = setting in laboratory environment
ANADROMOUS = migrating from the sea into fresh water to spawn
POTAMODROMOUS = migrating within fresh water
PHOTOPERIOD = duration of daylight
IND = individuals
DOMESTICATION LEVEL 3 = entire life cycle closed in captivity with wild inputs 35



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