New Ph D Thesis ! Recovery of meagre
MARIA DEL MAR GIOL OVIEDO
Recovery of meagre (Argyrosomus regius) population in the Balearic coastal ecosystem (Western Mediterranean)
This PhD project was designed to cover all the relevant issues of a restocking program for the meagre Argyrosomus regius in the Balearic Islands coastal ecosystems, ranging from the production of juveniles in captivity to monitoring survival into the wild. The long time needed by released meagres to adapt, around 3 months, seemed to imply high mortality. The reproductive study carried out with meagres in captivity conditions showed that age at maturity (i.e., 50% of probability to be mature) was 2.7 years for males and 3.5 years for females. Therefore, the meagres recaptured after spending two or more than two years at liberty were probably adults. Although there was empirical evidence that some meagres had reached the sexual maturity into the wild, we did not have evidences, as of now, that they had spawned, which would certainly increase the chance of success of the meagre restocking program. Nevertheless, reducing short-term mortality appears to be the most important challenge for increasing the chance of recovering a sustainable population of meagre in the Balearic Islands.