Since the 1980s, the European eels' stocks have dramatically decreased with no sign of recovery, resulting in their classification as Critically endangered on the IUCN red list of threatened species. The European Council Regulation 1100/2007 requires that 35% of glass eels caught annually by fishing be released in European waters for restocking. However, the efficiency of this measure on population viability has never been evaluated. Here, we estimated demographic parameters of a stocked population of French eels using a multistate capture-recapture model. Using these estimates, we then estimated population size and predicted the number of future genitors obtained by stocking. We found that the stage in which eels were stocked did not influence their future survival and that the maximal number of silver eels was quickly reached, after 3 years following stocking. We concluded that stocking experiments in the Mediterranean region are efficient for fast production of genitors. We suggest that further studies should assess the quality of these genitors.
- Anguilla anguilla
- Demographic studies
- Multistate capture-recapture models
- Restocking programmes