DETEPRE: Development and implantation of new technologies and protocols in the study of the reproductive ecology in fishery

Many of the European fishery resources are currently over-utilized. Resources of interest for Galician fleet are not an exception, and in this sense the EU have proposed some recovery plans. The Precautionary Approach to fisheries management intends to preserve the reproductive potential of a Stock (PRS), allowing its sustainable exploitation. For this reason, calculating precisely the PRS appears as a growing necessity, which requires to know population size, age composition, proportion of mature individuals, condition and fecundity. However, though their recognized importance, estimations about fecundity and the proportion of mature individuals are rarely considered, due to the complexity of this analysis, since it involves the use of high-cost techniques and protocols, in both economic and human terms. This project tries to develop methods and tools to automatize and facilitate the evaluation of fish reproductive parameters; and, ultimately, the reproductive potential of their populations. The project intends to use new technologies in order to solve one of the bottlenecks found on the analysis of fish population dynamics: provide detailed estimations about reproductive potential of populations. To calculate this, among other variables, two parameters are needed: the proportion of mature individuals in population, and each age-specific fecundity rate. Both are the subject of this project.


This project was structured around three main goals:
  1. Study of post-ovulatory follicles regression processes (FPO), and beginning of maturation.
  2. Development and implementation of new histological and microscopic tools, to obtain a fast diagnosis of maturation state and individuals lay activity.
  3. Design of an automatic system, based on computer vision, that works on digital images of histological preparations of ovaries.
Link to the Project Website