Incorporating stakeholder knowledge in eel recruitment

The GEREM model has been proposed as a tool for estimating eel recruitment, but its complexity makes it difficult to be understood and accepted by all stakeholders. At SUDOANG, we proposed a co-parameterization of this assessment model to address this distrust.

Using several questionnaires, stakeholders were involved in two important options of the model (area definition and pre-construction). Regular workshops and presentations were organized to explain the rationale of the model and to gather opinions and expectations.

The results show that stakeholders have very similar perceptions about the possible definitions of recruitment subzones in southwest Europe, and these perceptions are consistent with the underlying environmental conditions.

On the other hand, stakeholders have conflicting views on exploitation rates of fisheries in different river basins, and the use of their knowledge currently has little effect on GEREM estimates. More importantly, the overall approach of this study is believed to have rebuilt trust among participants.

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