Measuring cultured fish swimming behaviour: first results on rainbow trout using acoustic telemetry in tanks

Type Article
Date 2004-10
Language English
Author(s) Begout Marie-LaureORCID, Lagardere Jean-Paul
Affiliation(s) IFREMER, CNRS, Ctr Rech Ecosyst Marins & Aquacoles, F-17137 Khoumeau, France.
Source Aquaculture (0044-8486) (Elsevier), 2004-10 , Vol. 240 , N. 1-4 , P. 175-186
DOI 10.1016/j.aquaculture.2004.02.019
WOS© Times Cited 51
Keyword(s) Rainbow trout, Aquaculture, Swimming activity, Fish welfare, Acoustic telemetry
Abstract An experiment was conducted to measure swimming activity of rainbow trout (254.0 +/- 33.7 g) held in outdoor tanks under three culture conditions with stocking density used to generate differences: 27 (Culture Density 1, CD1), 80 (CD2) and 136 kg m(-3) (CD3). Fish were fed dry pellets at 1% of tank biomass from 9h00 to 13h00 with automatic feeders. Using acoustic telemetry, fish positions were monitored every 5 s during 48 h for nine fish (three in each treatment). Swimming behaviour was analysed in terms of trajectories: they varied between (i) holding position (high turning angles), (ii) chaotic trajectories (equal use of all turning angles) and (iii) circular swimming (average turning angle of 60degrees). Space utilisation differed for each culture condition: CD3 conditions induced a prolonged residence time in the central zone of the tank. Rainbow trout swimming activity patterns and levels differed depending on both day-night alternation and culture conditions. All fish reared at CD1 and one reared at CD2 were day-active. All the other fish showed high activity pattern variability and a higher swimming level was observed under CD3. These results illustrate that monitoring fish swimming activity is feasible even under high densities and provide relevant insights on fish activity which can lead to behavioural welfare indices in relation to constraints imposed by culture conditions.
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