TIL: Eyestalk Ablation


Learn something new every day. Today's piece of knowledge is this for me (from wikipedia):

Eyestalk ablation is the removal of one (unilateral) or both (bilateral) eyestalks from a crustacean. It is routinely practiced on female shrimps (or prawns) in almost every marine shrimp maturation or reproduction facility in the world, both research and commercial. The aim of ablation under these circumstances is to stimulate the female shrimp to develop mature ovaries and spawn.

Most captive conditions for shrimp cause inhibitions in females that prevent them from developing mature ovaries. Even in conditions where a given species will develop ovaries and spawn in captivity, use of eyestalk ablation increases total egg production and increases the percentage of females in a given population that will participate in reproduction.

I read briefly about this in an update from the Aquatic Life Institute, which is engaged in the critical and radically neglected project of improving the lives of aquatic animals.

The practice offers an easy opportunity to empathize, in horror, with crustaceans. Normally I find that quite difficult even though the preponderance of the evidence suggests they have an inner life. So here's a clear illustration of how fish farms are morally repugnant.


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