Wuchang bream

Megalobrama amblycephala

Taxonomy
    • Osteichthyes
      • Cypriniformes
        • Cyprinidae
          • Megalobrama amblycephala

Information


Author: Caroline Marques Maia
Version: 2.0 (2022-02-14) - Revision 3 (2022-07-29)

Cite

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

Cite as: »Marques Maia, Caroline. 2022. Megalobrama amblycephala (Farm: Short Profile). In: FishEthoBase, ed. Fish Ethology and Welfare Group. World Wide Web electronic publication. First published 2021-12-31. Version 2.0 Revision 3. https://fishethobase.net.«





FishEthoScore/farm

Megalobrama amblycephala
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

Megalobrama amblycephala is a BENTHOPELAGIC freshwater fish that naturally inhabits middle reaches of Yangtze River in China, being found in Newshan and Yuli lakes. It is an important farmed species, especially in China, ranking high on the world list of most important fish species in aquaculture. This herbivorous cyprinid, which uses natural feeds and has high disease resistance, high larval survival rate, and fast growth performance, is considered a fish with a delicious taste and high commercial value. Aquaculture of M. amblycephala has expanded in China, especially during the last decade, because of the relatively low production cost and increasing consumer demand. However, most wild information is still missing for this species, and information about farming conditions is mostly restricted to JUVENILES. Thus, further research about basic information from wild and cultured M. amblycephala is needed.




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 FRYWILD and FARM: no data found yet.

JUVENILESWILDno data found yetFARM: floating cages in ponds: 1 m2 (1 x 1 m) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9; cages in lakes: 10.9 m2 (3.3 x 3.3 m) 10; fibreglass tanks: 300 L 11 12; in-pond raceway systems: 110 m2 (22 x 5 m) 13; tanks in a recirculating system: 333.2 L (0.8 m diameter) 14.

ADULTSWILD and FARMno data found yet.

SPAWNERSWILD and FARMno data found yet.




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?

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 FRYWILD and FARM: no data found yet.

JUVENILESWILD: BENTHOPELAGIC 15, lakes and rivers in mid to low water levels 16FARM: floating cages in ponds: 1-1.7 m 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9; cages in lakes: 2 m 10; in-pond raceway systems: 2.5 m 13; tanks in a recirculating system: 0.6 m 14.

ADULTSWILDBENTHOPELAGIC 15, 5-20 m 17-15. Lakes and rivers in mid to low water levels 16. FARMno data found yet.

SPAWNERS:  WILD and FARMno data found yet.




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?

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

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

possibly POTAMODROMOUS 18 16.

LARVAE and FRYWILD and FARM: no data found yet.

JUVENILESWILD: 11-15 h PHOTOPERIOD 15, 10-20 °C 19-15, fresh water 17-15FARM: floating cages in ponds: 24-31 °C 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9; fibreglass tanks: 26-29 °C 11 12; in-pond raceway system: 26-31 °C 13; tanks in a recirculating system: 23-29 °C 14 20. For details of holding systems crit. 1 and 2. LAB: stressed by high light intensity (800-1,600 lux), with 400 lux being better for growth, survival, and immune response 21. Potentially chronically stressed by longer PHOTOPERIOD (12-16 h), but with more homogeneous and better growth 22.

ADULTSWILD: JUVENILESFARMno data found yet.

SPAWNERSWILD and FARMno data found yet.




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?

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

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

WILD and FARM: no data found yet.




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 FRYWILD and FARM: no data found yet.

JUVENILESWILD: no data found yetFARM: floating cages in ponds: schooling behaviours like aggregating, scattering, resting, and group swimming 6; 15-30 IND/m1 5; 0.008-0.1 IND/L 2 3 4 6 7 8 9, with better growth and survival at 0.03-0.06 IND/L 6 or better growth at 0.02 IND/L 7 9 and better survival at 0.04 IND/L 7; stressed by densities ≥0.06 IND/L 6 or ≥0.04 IND/L 7. Cages in lakes: 0.02 IND/L 10. Fibreglass tanks: 0.1 IND/L 11 12. In-pond raceway systems: 0.5 or 1 IND/L, with lower growth and higher indications of chronic crowding stress at 1 IND/L than at 0.5 IND/L 13. Tanks in a recirculating system: 0.08-0.5 IND/L, with gradually less homogeneous and lower growth as well as higher indications of chronic crowding stress at higher densities 14, higher growth and lower stress at 1.5 g/L than 3 g/L 20.

ADULTSWILD and FARM: no data found yet.

SPAWNERSWILD and FARMno 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 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.




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 FRYWILD and FARM: no data found yet.

JUVENILESWILD: BENTHOPELAGIC 15. Lakes and rivers with mud bottom and macrophytes 16. FARM: for details of holding systems crit. 1 and 2.

ADULTSWILDBENTHOPELAGIC 15. Lakes and rivers with mud bottom and macrophytes 16. Mainly feeding on aquatic plants 23. FARMno data found yet.

SPAWNERSWILD and FARMno 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 low amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

LARVAE and FRY: FARM: no data found yet.

JUVENILES: FARM: floating net cages in ponds: feeding >1 time/day increased stress possibly because of increased competition for food, but feeding ~4 times/day improved the immune response 1. Stressed (to the point of mortality) by hypoxia at ~2 mg/L of dissolved oxygen (feeding rate at 4% body weight/day minimised mortality) 2. Stressed during transportation in plastic filled with oxygen (5 IND/L), which can be minimised by zinc-bearing palygorskite (Zn-Pal) in the diet 24. For stress and a) PHOTOPERIOD and light intensity crit. 3, b) stocking density  crit. 5.

ADULTS: FARMno data found yet.

SPAWNERS: FARMno 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 no findings for minimal and high-standard farming conditions.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

LARVAE and FRYno data found yet.

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 low amount of evidence.

Likelihood
Potential
Certainty

Common slaughter method: for the related Cyprinus carpio, 85% are sold alive, of the 15% processed in plants 25, the common methods are a) asphyxia (followed by evisceration 25 or percussive killing 26), b) percussive stunning (followed by evisceration 25 27, gill cut or destruction of the heart 27), and c) electrical stunning (followed by evisceration 25 27, gill cut or destruction of the heart 27). High-standard slaughter method: for C. carpio, electrical plus percussive stunning (followed by evisceration, gill cut or destruction of the heart) 27 or immersion in clove oil (followed by percussive killing 26). Further research needed for a specific protocol and to determine whether this applies to M. amblycephala 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 5 28, 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: herbivorous 1 11 3 12 4 or at least partially herbivorous-omnivorous, with JUVENILES mainly feeding on zooplankton, ADULTS mainly feeding on aquatic plants but also zooplankton 23FARM: fish meal may be partly* 11 12 5, mostly* 8 (e.g., canola, cottonseed meal) or even completely* 3 4 replaced by sustainable sources (rice protein concentrate supplemented with lysine 3 or with xylooligosaccharides 4). LAB: fish meal may be partly* replaced by sustainable sources (e.g. alfafa) 29; fish meal may be completely* removed from diet causing even a better growth, but immune response and oxidative stress are impaired 23.

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




Glossary


BENTHOPELAGIC = living and feeding near the bottom of a body of water, floating above the floor
JUVENILES = fully developed but immature individuals, for details Findings 10.1 Ontogenetic development
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
ADULTS = mature individuals, for details Findings 10.1 Ontogenetic development
SPAWNERS = adults that are kept as broodstock
POTAMODROMOUS = migrating within fresh water
PHOTOPERIOD = duration of daylight
LAB = setting in laboratory environment
IND = individuals
DOMESTICATION LEVEL 5 = selective breeding programmes are used focusing on specific goals 28



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