Version: B | 1.2 (2022-07-20)
Please note: This part of the profile is currently being revised.
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)
Salvelinus alpinus alpinus is a highly plastic and very resilient freshwater fish. It is thus appealing for farming, but there are several issues in welfare that need improvement as well as many aspects of its biology that remain understudied. Despite its plasticity, spatial needs in farming systems are not met. Stationary morphs should be more suitable for farming. Spawning induction is highly invasive and the rearing environment should be improved, and proper attention should be given to its feeding needs (it is sually reared on diets formulated for either rainbow trout or Atlantic salmon) and fish sources should be replaced with sustainable sources. Stress responses to common farming practices are not known, and a humane stunning and slaughter protocol needs to be established.
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?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.
FRY: ➝ ALEVINS.
JUVENILES: WILD: usually 2-7 km 3, up to 25 km, max 940 km 4-5. High intra-specific variation and plasticity 6 5. FARM: grow-out circular tanks: 127 m3 (9 m diameter x 2 m height) to 156 m3 (9.1 m diameter x 2.4 m height) 2.
ADULTS: ➝ JUVENILES.
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.
ALEVINS and FRY: ➝ Eggs.
FRY: ➝ Eggs.
ADULTS: ➝ JUVENILES.
SPAWNERS: WILD: spawn from 0-50 m 7. FARM: no data found yet
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 farming conditions. It is medium for high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a medium amount of evidence.
FRY: ➝ ALEVINS
JUVENILES: WILD: some morphs are anadromous 11, others are stationary in fresh water 12. Anadromous morphs migrate yearly to littoral zones in spring 8 9 10. FARM: grow-out tanks 2. For details on rearing systems ➝ crit. 1 and 2.
ADULTS: ➝ JUVENILES
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.
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?It is high for minimal and high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a medium amount of evidence.
FRY: ➝ ALEVINS.
JUVENILES: WILD: schooling 14 15. FARM: density of 2.2 ind/L increases growth, whereas 0.3 ind/L hinders growth and increase mortality 16. Form schools and tolerate high densities of at least 120 kg/m3 2. Highly plastic species 5.
ADULTS: ➝ JUVENILES
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 and high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a high amount of evidence.
FRY: ➝ ALEVINS
JUVENILES: WILD: aggressive and territorial 6. FARM: high densities in farms of 300 ind/tank reduce aggression 19. LAB: aggressive and territorial 20, establish dominance hierarchies in groups of 3 20.
ADULTS: ➝ JUVENILES
SPAWNERS: WILD: Males aggressively guard females 1. FARM: no data found yet.
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.
Eggs: WILD: BENTHIC 1. FARM: hatched in shallow throughs or concrete tanks (pers. obs)
ALEVINS: WILD: immediately seek shelter in the substrate upon hatching 2. FARM: Ponds usually have stones, pebbles and gravel as substrate (pers. obs)
JUVENILES: WILD: usually BENTHIC, but can shift to pelagic (independent of bottom substrate) depending on feed abundance 21. FARM: Ponds usually have stones, pebbles and gravel as substrate (pers. obs).
ADULTS: ➝ JUVENILES.
SPAWNERS: WILD: spawn in substrate 1. FARM: maturation ponds usually have stones, pebbles and gravel as substrate (pers. obs).
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 unclear findings for minimal and high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a low amount of evidence.
ALEVINS: no data found yet.
FRY: no data found yet.
JUVENILES: stressed by handling, but habituated to repeated handling 22. Further research needed on other common stressors.
ADULTS: ➝ JUVENILES
SPAWNERS: no data found yet.
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 farming conditions. It is medium for high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a low amount of evidence.
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.
Common slaughter method: for the related O. kisutch, anaesthesia with high CO2 or iced water 38, then bled by cutting gill arches and immersing in iced water 38 39. High-standard slaughter method: indications that electrical stunning after 30 s DC 9.6 V/cm at 1,000 Hz is most effective 40. Further research needed to confirm for farming conditions.
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?
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)?
*partly = <51% – mostly = 51-99% – completely = 100%
ALEVINS = larvae until the end of yolk sac absorption, for details ➝ Findings 10.1 Ontogenetic development
BENTHIC = living at the bottom of a body of water, able to rest on the floor
DOMESTICATION LEVEL 5 = selective breeding programmes are used focusing on specific goals 41
FARM = setting in farming environment or under conditions simulating farming environment in terms of size of facility or number of individuals
FRY = larvae from external feeding on, for details ➝ Findings 10.1 Ontogenetic development
JUVENILES = fully developed but immature individuals, for details ➝ Findings 10.1 Ontogenetic development
LAB = setting in laboratory environment
SPAWNERS = adults during the spawning season; in farms: adults that are kept as broodstock
WILD = setting in the wild
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16 NOT FOUND
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