Bighead carp, scientifically known as Hypophthalmichthys nobilis, is one of the four Chinese major carps and can be found in lakes, rivers, and reservoirs of south and central China. It is one of the most intensively cultured fishes in Asia.
As this carp is a planktivorous fish, it is reared not just for its production, but also as a filter-feeding fish in polycultures, helping to improve the water quality and controlling the phytoplankton. Bighead carp is a fast growing fish, which is also interesting for aquaculture, but this means it is usually sold before reaching maturity.
Because bighead carp can also feed on detritus and organisms living on the bottom opportunistically, it could be important to provide access to substrate for this carp in captivity, so it has more feed choices. Moreover, as it is commonly sold live or fresh locally, this fish probably dies by asphyxia, which means much suffering. As no high-standard slaughter method is available for this carp, further research about this is urgent.
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