State-space modeling of multi-decadal mark-recapture data reveals low adult dispersal in a nursery-dependent fish metapopulation

Abstract : Quantifying connectivity within fish metapopulations is an important component in understanding population dynamics and providing an evidence base for assessment and management. We investigate meta-population connectivity of the common sole (Solea solea L.) in the Eastern English Channel (EEC). The EEC common sole stock is currently assessed as a single and spatially homogeneous population but connectivity induced through adult movements within this stock and with nearby stocks remains unknown. To fill this knowledge gap, we developed a state-space mark-recovery model, designed to estimate adult connectivity, using mark-recapture data from multiple release experiments from 1970 to 2018 across the EEC and adjacent management areas. The model estimates seasonal fish movements between five pre-defined areas, Western English Channel, Eastern English Channel (split into three discrete sub-areas) and North Sea. Over 32000 fish were tagged, 4036 of which were recovered via fisheries. Our results suggest minimal large-scale adult movements between these areas: movements among spatial units within the EEC were very low with even lower levels of immigration from areas adjoining the EEC. Our results support the hypothesis of segregated populations within the EEC. The importance of accommodating population substructure in the fisheries management is considered.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, August 28, 2019 - 3:18:33 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, August 29, 2019 - 1:21:27 AM

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Jean-Baptiste Lecomte, Olivier Le Pape, Hélène Baillif, Marie Nevoux, Youen Vermard, et al.. State-space modeling of multi-decadal mark-recapture data reveals low adult dispersal in a nursery-dependent fish metapopulation. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, NRC Research Press, In press, ⟨10.1139/cjfas-2019-0037⟩. ⟨hal-02273151⟩

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