Genetic and physiological approach to assess the health status of ray populations
  • Timeframe : 2023 - 2026
  • Local Budget: 303169 €
  • Coordinator: Salomé Fabri-Ruiz, Ifremer
  • Contact: Salomé FABRI-RUIZ
  • Keywords : Dynamique des populations / Epigénétique / Multi-stress / Individus / Pêche / Poissons / Populations / Bio-informatique / Biomarqueurs et traceurs / Capture, échantillonnage et inventaire / Développement de scripts / Géomatique / Marquage-recapture / Modélisation statistique

Knowledge of stock status is fundamental for fisheries management. Conventional population dynamics models for stock assessment are generally based on time series of catch data, abundance indices and size or age structure data. New genetic mark-recapture approaches (CKMR, close-kin mark-recapture) can provide a direct estimation of absolute abundances but require precise age information. For ray species, age is generally estimated by vertebrae reading, which remains expensive, has low resolution (of the order of one year) and is inevitably lethal. Making use of recent progress, these age data can now be acquired, possibly more accurately, by non-invasive genetic approaches, though the wider applicability has not yet been demonstrated. Furthermore, the approaches commonly used to assess rays stocks do not provide information on the wider health status of the target populations. Individuals under severe stress may have decreased survival and reproductive capacity. Quantifying the different types of stress in rays could provide explain some of the variations observed in population dynamics. Through our proposed research project, we wish to develop a holistic approach that combines genetic and physiological methods to better inform on the status of two ray species: the thornback ray and the undulate ray in the Bay of Biscay. The project has four axes: i) estimating the age of rays using a genetic approach and validating this approach using vertebrae-based age estimates, ii) estimating the absolute abundance of undulate ray using the CKMR method, iii) evaluating the stress level of undulate rays, and iv)  proposing a way forward for stock assessment and management of undulate ray in the Bay of Biscay.

Partners  : UMR DECOD, Aglia,  University of Wageningen, Parc naturel marin de l’estuaire de la Gironde et de la mer des Pertuis, MARE, CCMAR, CNPMEM, COREPEM, CDPM Charente-Maritime, and CRPMEM Nouvelle-Aquitaine, FROM Sud-Ouest, OPPAN, OP La Cotinière

People involved

AMILIEN Flavie, Technician
Phone : +33 2 23 48 56 69
Email :
Phone : 0297873803
Email :
BESNARD Anne-Laure, Technician
Phone : +33 2 23 48 54 43
Email : anne-laure.besnard(at)
BROSSET Pablo, Scientist
Phone : +33 2 23 48 55 38
Email :
LASSALLE Gilles, Scientist
Phone : +33 2 23 48 56 61
Email :
Phone : 0240374085
Email :
Phone : 0240374078
Email :
PETIT Eric, Scientist
Phone : + 33 2 23 48 70 36
Email :
SADOUL Bastien, Scientist
Phone : +33 2 23 48 55 37
Email :

Funding and Support

 France Filière Pêche – Enjeux actuels