Short profile


FishEthoScore of the species

Abbreviated assessment of the species' likelihood and potential for fish welfare in aquaculture, based on ethological findings for 10 crucial criteria.

Criteria Li Po Ce
1 Home range
2 Depth range
3 Migration
4 Reproduction
5 Aggregation ?
6 Aggression
7 Substrate
8 Stress
9 Malformation
10 Slaughter
FishEthoScore 0 0 1
Li = Likelihood that the individuals of the species experience welfare under minimal farming conditions
Po = Potential overall potential of the individuals of the species to experience welfare under improved farming conditions
Ce = Certainty of our findings in Likelihood and Potential
 
                    ?     /  
  High    Medium     Low     Unclear  No findings
 
FishEthoScore = Sum of criteria scoring "High" (max. 10)



General remarks

Scophthalmus maximus is a left-eyed flatfish of the family Scophtalmidae, a demersal predator, mainly in the area from the Black and Mediterranean Sea to the North Atlantic and the Baltic Sea. S. maximus is a relatively scarce “gourmet” fish and is highly prized in the market. S. maximus farming started in the 1970s in the United Kingdom and subsequently established in France, Spain, and Portugal. In the beginning, the production was restricted by a limited juvenile supply, but technological developments since 2007 have led to an expansion in production. Only few findings are available on both natural behaviour and physiological effects of farming practices. They clearly demonstrate the importance of sandy substrate and low stocking densities to improve fish welfare.


1. Are minimal farming conditions likely to provide the home range of the species? What overall welfare potential can be achieved? How certain are these findings?

L
Likelihood
L
Potential
H
Certainty

LARVAE: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: hatcheries: semi-intensive conditions: 50 m3; intensive conditions: 20-30 m3 [1]. Pre-fattening period: circular tanks: 10-30 m[1].

JUVENILES: WILD: <20 km [2] [3]. FARM: tanks: 25-100 m3 [1]; submersible cages: 200-550 m2 surface range and 12-16.5 diameter [4].

ADULTS JUVENILES.

SPAWNERS: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: tanks: 20-40 m3 [1].


2. Are minimal farming conditions likely to provide the depth range of the species? What overall welfare potential can be achieved? How certain are these findings?

L
Likelihood
L
Potential
M
Certainty

Eggs and LARVAE: WILD: 0.2-1 m [5] [6]FARMno data found yet.

JUVENILES: WILD: usually 40-60 m [7] [8]. FARM: generally 3-7 m depth [9].

ADULTS➝ JUVENILES.

SPAWNERS: WILD: spawn at 10-40 m [10] [11]. FARM: no data found yet.


3. Are minimal farming conditions compatible with the migrating or habitat-changing behaviour of the species? What overall welfare potential can be achieved? How certain are these findings?

L
Likelihood
M
Potential
M
Certainty

OCEANODROMOUS [5].

LARVAE: WILD: driven by currents towards the coasts [5]FARM: saltwater [5]. For details of holding systems  crit. 1.

JUVENILES: WILD: resident [2] [12]FARM: saltwater [5]. Higher growth under 12L:12D cycle than under 20L:04D [13]. For details of holding systems  crit. 1 and 2.

ADULTS: JUVENILES.

SPAWNERS: WILD: migrations from deeper to shallower areas to spawn [2]FARM: LARVAE.


4. Is the species likely to reproduce in captivity without manipulation? What overall welfare potential can be achieved? How certain are these findings?

L
Likelihood
M
Potential
L
Certainty

WILD: spawn April-June [14] [15]. Periodic spawner, releasing eggs 10-12 times at 3-6 days intervals [16]. FARM: eggs and milt are manually extracted by stripping [16] [11].


5. Is the aggregation imposed by minimal farming conditions likely to be compatible with the natural behaviour of the species? What overall welfare potential can be achieved? How certain are these findings?

?
Likelihood
M
Potential
M
Certainty

LARVAE: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: hatcheries: semi-intensive conditions: 2-5 IND/L; intensive conditions: 15-20 IND/L [1].

JUVENILES: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: tanks: 1.4-6.6 kg/m2 [16], 10-30 kg/m2 [17]; net cages: 30-120 IND/m[18]. Low stocking densities are reported to improve growth and welfare [19] [20] [21].

ADULTS: WILD and FARM: no data found yet.

SPAWNERS: WILD and FARM: no data found yet.


6. Is the species likely to be non-aggressive and non-territorial? What overall welfare potential can be achieved? How certain are these findings?

L
Likelihood
M
Potential
M
Certainty

LARVAE: no data found yet

JUVENILES: feed restriction promotes competition at high stocking density [22] [23] [19] [24].

ADULTS:  JUVENILES.

SPAWNERS: no data found yet.


7. Are minimal farming conditions likely to match the natural substrate and shelter needs of the species? What overall welfare potential can be achieved? How certain are these findings?

L
Likelihood
M
Potential
M
Certainty

Eggs and LARVAE: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: for details of holding systems crit. 1.

JUVENILES: WILD: mainly on sandy bottoms [3] [25] [26]. FARM: prefer sandy substrate [25]. Usually rearing conditions are without sand on the bottom [27]. For details of holding systems crit. 1 and 2.

ADULTS JUVENILES

SPAWNERS: WILD: no data found yet. FARM: for details of holding systems crit. 1.


8. Are minimal farming conditions (handling, confinement etc.) likely not to stress the individuals of the species? What overall welfare potential can be achieved? How certain are these findings?

L
Likelihood
M
Potential
M
Certainty

LARVAE: no data found yet

JUVENILES: stressed by handling [28] [29] and sudden salinity [30] and temperature changes [31]. For stress and a) photoperiod crit. 3, b) stocking density crit. 5.

ADULTS JUVENILES

SPAWNERS: no data found yet.


9. Are malformations of this species likely to be rare under farming conditions? What overall welfare potential can be achieved? How certain are these findings?

L
Likelihood
M
Potential
L
Certainty

LARVAE: no data found yet.

JUVENILES: 6% malformed and 28% malpigmented [32]

ADULTS JUVENILES.


10. Is a humane slaughter protocol likely to be applied under minimal farming conditions? What overall welfare potential can be achieved? How certain are these findings?

L
Likelihood
M
Potential
M
Certainty

Common slaughter method: asphyxia [33] [34]. High-standard slaughter method: indications that automated percussion and electrical stunning is effective [35] [36]. Further research needed to confirm for farming conditions.


Side note: Domestication

DOMESTICATION LEVEL 3 [37], level 5 being fully domesticated. 


Side note: Feeding without components of forage fishery

WILD: carnivorous [5]. FARM: for JUVENILES and ADULTS, fish meal and fish oil may be partlyreplaced by non-forage fishery components [38] [39] [40] [41]. For LARVAE and SPAWNERS, no data found yet on replacement of fish meal and fish oil.

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


Glossary

ADULTS = mature individuals, for details Findings 10.1 Ontogenetic development
DOMESTICATION LEVEL 3 = entire life cycle closed in captivity with wild inputs [37]
FARM = setting in farm environment
IND = individuals
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
OCEANODROMOUS = living and migrating in the sea
SPAWNERS = adults that are kept as broodstock
WILD = setting in the wild


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