Version: B | 1.3 (2022-07-29)
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)
Labeo rohita is the natural inhabitant of freshwater sections of the rivers of north and central India and rivers of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burma, Myanmar, and the Terai region of Nepal. L. rohita was introduced into rivers of peninsular India, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Japan, China, and many other countries. Being a very quick growing carp and considered tastier than L. catla and Cirrhinus mrigala – the two other Indian major carps – it has been cultured for hundreds of years and is the most important among the three Indian major carp species. Despite this, wild information about home and depth ranges, migration, aggregation, aggression, and substrate are still missing for this species. L. rohita is a bottom-column feeder, less adapted to take zooplankton than other major carps, but with a wider feeding niche. This species is usually raised in polyculture systems with other carps. Structures such as bamboo poles can be used as periphyton substrate in these polycultures, and this species profits from it via adding food. Its entire life cycle is closed in captivity, but it is necessary to induce the reproduction by hormonal manipulation. Information about adults under farming conditions is missing, probably because this species is sold before reaching maturity. Farmed fish are mostly sold fresh on local markets, but in large farms they can also be washed in water, packed with crushed ice at a ratio of 1:1 in rectangular plastic crates, and transported for long distances. Thus, post-harvest processing is almost non-existent for this carp and, when sold live, the market value increases, which means that there is no slaughter protocol established for L. rohita.
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 medium amount of evidence.
LARVAE and FRY: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: reservoir cages: 9 m2 (3 x 3 m) 1; concrete nursery tanks: 50 m2 (10 x 5 m) 2. For carps in general, earthen ponds: 100-1,000 m2 3; tanks: 1.4 m2 (1.2 x 1.2 m) 3. Further research needed to determine whether this applies to L. rohita as well.
JUVENILES: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: earthen ponds: 40 m2 (8 x 5 m) 4 5, 75 m2 (7.5 x 10 m) 6 7 8, 100 m2 9, 170-420 m2 7, 200 m2 10, 800 m2 (40 x 20 m) 11 compartmentalised with nets into 100 m2 areas 12; raceways: 102.1 m2 (6.7 x 15.2 m) 13; rainwater reservoirs: 200 m2 (50 x 4 m) 14; floating net cages: 9 m2 (3 x 3 m) 15; outdoor thick mud-bottomed cement tanks: 25 m2 (5 x 5 m) 16.
ADULTS: WILD and FARM: no data found yet.
SPAWNERS: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: cemented cisterns: 2.4 m diameter 17. For carps in general, earthen ponds: 20-30 m or 2,000-25,000 m2 3; storage tanks: 200 m2 (10 x 20 m), 450 m2 (15 x 30 m) 3; breeding tanks: 3.8 m2 (2.5 x 1.5 m), 8 m2 (4 x 2 m), 18.8 m2 (7.5 x 2.5 m), 2 m diameter 3. Further research needed to determine whether this applies to L. rohita as well.
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.
LARVAE and FRY: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: reservoir cages: 2 m 1; concrete nursery tanks: 1 m 2. For carps in general, earthen ponds: 0.5-1.2 m 3; tanks: 1.2 m 3. Further research needed to determine whether this applies to L. rohita as well.
JUVENILES: WILD: caught in reservoirs (average 9-14 m, max 28-35 m) 18 19 with unclear depth range use. FARM: ponds: 0.8-1.8 m 6 12 7 8 9 11 4 5 10; rainwater reservoirs: 1.0-1.8 m 14; floating net square cages: 3 m 15; outdoor thick mud-bottomed cement tanks: 0.9 m 16.
ADULTS: WILD: caught in reservoirs (average 9 m, max 35 m) 18 with unclear depth range use. FARM: for carps in general, earthen ponds: 0.8-2 m 3. Further research needed to determine whether this applies to L. rohita as well.
SPAWNERS: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: separate cemented cisterns: 0.9 m 17. For carps in general, earthen ponds: 1.0-2.5 m or deeper depending on climate zone 3; storage tanks: 1.0-1.5 m 3; breeding tanks: 1 m 3. Further research needed to determine whether this applies to L. rohita as well.
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 farming conditions. It is medium for high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a low amount of evidence.
LARVAE and FRY: WILD no data found yet. FARM: concrete nursery tanks: range: 26.3-29.7 °C, fresh water 2. For details of holding systems ➝ crit. 1 and 2.
JUVENILES: WILD: 11-13 h PHOTOPERIOD 21 22 19, 25.0-27.8 °C 22, fresh water 21 22 19. FARM: floating net cages: range 19-30 °C, fresh water 15 outdoor thick mud-bottomed cement tanks: range 23.8-25.8 °C, fresh water 16. For details of holding systems ➝ crit. 1 and 2. LAB: stressed under a temperature range of 31-36 °C when previously acclimated to a temperature of 26 °C 23.
ADULTS: WILD: 11-13 h PHOTOPERIOD 21 22, 25.0-27.8 °C 22, fresh water 21 22. FARM: for details of holding systems ➝ crit. 2.
SPAWNERS: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: breeding hapas inside circular tanks: 31.5 °C in May (pre-monsoon) and 29 °C in July (monsoon) 24. For details of holding systems ➝ crit. 1 and 2.
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 of theses circumstances?It is low for minimal and high-standard farming conditions. Our conclusion is based on a medium amount of evidence.
WILD: mature from 2 years on 25 26,majority reaches maturity at 4 years in males and 5 years in females 26. Spawn during monsoon 25 27 in April-September depending on latitude 27 26. FARM: attain maturity towards the end of second year with proper feeding, but induced breeding is necessary 26; sex ratio: 1 female:2 males 26. Attempts to advance spawning by combination of above-average temperatures with long PHOTOPERIOD and ovaprim injection to January-February (off-spawning season), sex ratio: 4 females:3 males 17. Induced spawning by a combination of salmon gonadotropin releasing hormone analogue and domperidone, with lower success and higher percentage of mortality and abnormality of eggs and hatchlings in attempts to advance spawning 24. For carps in general, in storage tanks, spawners are kept separated by sex 3. Further research needed to determine whether this applies to L. rohita as well.
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 medium amount of evidence.
LARVAE and FRY: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: reservoir cages: varied individual densities in a polyculture with another carp species of overall density of 0.05-0.2 IND/L 1; concrete nursery tanks: 2,000 IND/m2 2. For carps in general, earthen ponds: 1,000 IND/m2 for LARVAE in nursery ponds, 12.5-25 IND/m2 for FRY in breeding ponds 3. Further research needed to determine whether this applies to L. rohita as well. LAB: recirculating systems: better survival and growth at 7-8 IND/L than 10 IND/L 28.
JUVENILES: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: ponds: 1.5 IND/m2, higher growth when stocked in polyculture with Labeo catla than in monoculture, best ratio for both species: 60 L. rohita:40 L. catla 6, 0.3-0.7 IND/m2 in polyculture with 2-4 other carp species of overall density of 0.8-1.2 IND/m2 12 7 8 11 4 5 13, 0.3-0.5 IND/m2 in polyculture with 2 other carp and 2 other small fish species of overall density of 4-4.2 IND/m2 9. Rainwater reservoirs: better growth and survival at 0.2 than 0.3 IND/m2 in polyculture with 2 other carp species of overall density of 0.5-0.8 IND/m2 than 1.1 IND/m2 14. Floating net square cages: better growth and survival at 10 IND/m2 than 15-25 IND/m2 15. Outdoor thick mud-bottomed cement tanks: 1.6 IND/m2 16. LAB: stressed (to the point of mortality) by high stocking density (25,000 g/m3) 29.
ADULTS: WILD and FARM: no data found yet.
SPAWNERS: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: cemented cisterns: 3 IND/m3 17.
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.
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: no data found yet. FARM: for carps in general, double-walled hapa nets (e.g., mosquito netting and whole cloth) to protect from predators 3. Further research needed to determine whether this applies to L. rohita as well.
LARVAE and FRY: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: 0.2 m thick soil base in concrete nursery tanks reduced survival by 10% 2. For details of holding systems ➝ crit. 1 and 2.
JUVENILES: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: ponds: 2.4-10 vertically planted bamboo poles/m2 (1.8-2 m length, 1.5-5.6 cm diameter) 6 7 8 4 5, 0.2 m2 rice straw mats/m2 4 5, 0.07-0.3 kg sugarcane bagasse bundles/m2 (0.8 m length, 3.3 cm diameter) 12 or 0.05 m2 bamboo mats/m2 fixed with bamboo poles 11 as periphyton substrate to feed on 6 7 8 11 4. Outdoor thick mud-bottomed cement tanks: 0.2-0.3 kg sugarcane bagasse/m2 at the bottom as periphyton substrate to feed on 16.
ADULTS: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: for details of holding systems ➝ crit. 2.
SPAWNERS: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: for details of holding systems ➝ crit. 1 and 2.
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.
FRY: FARM: stressed (to the point of mortality) by 6 h transport in plastic bags at 150-200 IND/L 30; stressed (to the point of mortality) by 12 h, 24 h or 36 h transport in polyphone bags at 80 or 160 IND/L, at higher levels at 36 h of transportation and at 160 IND/L 31.
JUVENILES: FARM: stressed by 2.5 h transport in sealed double layer oxygen packed polythene bags at 67, 134 or 201 g/L, at higher levels at 134 and 201 g/L and to the point of mortality at 201 g/L 32; stressed (to the point of immediate and high delayed mortality) by harvesting handling immediately followed by 1 h, 3 h, 6 h or 9 h of simulated transport in aluminium vessels with manual water aeration and water changes at a density of 200, 300 or 400 g/L, at higher levels at 9 h and 400 g/L 33. LAB: for stress and a) temperature ➝ crit. 3, b) stocking density ➝ crit. 5.
ADULTS: FARM: no data found yet.
SPAWNERS: FARM: 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?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.
Eggs: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: for major carps including L. rohita, eggs <2.4 mm diameter of pre-monsoon spawning resulted in undifferentiated cephalic mass in 60% 34.
LARVAE: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: for major carps including L. rohita, malformations in 0.5-1% during monsoon, 1-3% during pre-monsoon, 2-5% during post-monsoon: indeterminate embryonic mass, undifferentiated cephalic mass, unusual coelomic cavity and yolk sac, axial imparity (e.g., curvature of notochord, stump tail), microsomia, and combinations 34. For carps in general, malformations due to insufficient nutrition 3. Further research needed to determine whether this applies to L. rohita as well.
JUVENILES: WILD: post dorsal depression, truncated caudal region, reduced post anal scales in one specimen 35. FARM: from 10 sampled, scale deformities in 100% 36.
ADULTS: WILD and FARM: no data found yet.
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.
Common slaughter method: asphyxia on ice 26. High-standard slaughter method: for the related C. carpio, electrical plus percussive stunning (followed by evisceration, gill cut or destruction of the heart) 37 or immersion in clove oil (followed by percussive killing 38). Further research needed for a specific protocol and to determine whether this applies to L. rohita as well.
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 39, 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)?
All age classes: WILD: bottom-column feeder with preference on plant matter, including decaying vegetation 3; essentially herbivorous 40 as JUVENILES and ADULTS 26. FARM: mainly consume phytoplankton and organic matter, but also animal components 41. Fish meal may be partly* 10 to mostly* 13 replaced by sustainable sources. LAB: fish meal may be partly* 42, mostly* 43 or even completely* replaced by sustainable sources when using soybean meal supplemented with methionine and fortified with minerals 44.
*partly = <51% – mostly = 51-99% – completely = 100%
DOMESTICATION LEVEL 5 = selective breeding programmes are used focusing on specific goals 39
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
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
PHOTOPERIOD = duration of daylight
POTAMODROMOUS = migrating within fresh water
SPAWNERS = adults during the spawning season; in farms: adults that are kept as broodstock
WILD = setting in the wild
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