Version: B | 1.1 (2022-06-23)
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)
Solea senegalensis is a BENTHIC, predominantly littoral, species, generally inhabiting sandy or muddy bottoms and occurring along the eastern Atlantic from the Gulf of Biscay to the coasts of Senegal, less frequently in the Western Mediterranean. During the last decades, particularly in Spain and in Portugal, an interest in the cultivation of S. senegalensis in aquaculture has emerged due to its high commercial value, potential to be reared in polyculture systems, and better aptitude for growth in captivity than its apparently close relative S. solea. However, before a reliable technology for production in good welfare conditions can be developed, several aspects of its culture still need to be solved and optimised such as the importance of sandy substrate, stress susceptibility, malformation, and slaughter.
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 and high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a medium amount of evidence.
ADULTS: ➝ JUVENILES.
SPAWNERS: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: tanks: 3 m2 diameter 6.
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 and high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a medium amount of evidence.
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 high for minimal and high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a medium amount of evidence.
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.
WILD: spawn February-May 12. In captivity, wild-caught individuals perform mating ritual at night where the male follows the female and both swim coupled to the surface to spawn 13. FARM: wild broodstock 3 14 15 or wild males with cultured females spawn naturally in captivity at ratio one male to several females during mating rituals at night similar to the wild 16. Successful induced spawning in cultured individuals using recombinant gonadotropin hormones 17.
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.
LARVAE: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: cylindro-conical fibreglass tanks: 100 IND/L 3.
ADULTS: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: ➝ JUVENILES.
SPAWNERS: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: <5 kg/m2 3.
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 farming conditions. It is medium for high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a medium amount of evidence.
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 and LARVAE: WILD and FARM: no data found yet.
ADULTS: ➝ JUVENILES.
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 medium amount of evidence.
JUVENILES: stressed by crowding 31 32, handling 33 34 35 36, sudden changes in environmental salinity from 38‰ to 5, 15, and 55‰ 37, and feed deprivation 38. Distinct individual stress coping styles 21 39.
ADULTS: ➝ JUVENILES.
SPAWNERS: distinct individual stress coping styles 40.
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 farming conditions. It is medium for high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a medium 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.
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 48, level 5 being fully domesticated.
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%
BENTHIC = living at the bottom of a body of water, able to rest on the floor
DOMESTICATION LEVEL 3 = entire life cycle closed in captivity with wild inputs 48
FARM = setting in farming environment or under conditions simulating farming environment in terms of size of facility or number of individuals
IND = individuals
JUVENILES = fully developed but immature individuals, for details ➝ Findings 10.1 Ontogenetic development
LAB = setting in laboratory environment
LARVAE = hatching to mouth opening, for details ➝ Findings 10.1 Ontogenetic development
PELAGIC = living independent of bottom and shore of a body of water
SPAWNERS = adults during the spawning season; in farms: adults that are kept as broodstock
WILD = setting in the wild
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