Life history traits of Patella candei were studied for the first time, including weight versus length relationship, growth, age structure, sexual maturity, recruitment pattern, mortality rates and yield and biomass-per-recruit of an exploited population in Madeira Island, north-eastern Atlantic using monthly length–frequency data from January to December 1999. The growth pattern of P. candei showed positive allometric nature of growth (b > 3, P < 0.05). The estimated growth parameters showed an asymptotic length (L∞) and growth coefficient (K) estimated at 80.81 mm and K at 0.32 year−1 with a growth performance index (φ′) calculated as 3.32 based on the collected data. This species is moderately long-lived reaching up to 9.36 years and achieving sexual maturity at 36.7 mm of shell length. The recruitment pattern was continuous, displaying a major peak event per year, occurring in January (25.12%). The estimated total mortality rate (Z) was 1.79 year−1 while natural mortality rate (M) was 0.55 year−1 and fishing mortality rate (F) was 1.24 year−1. The probability of capture shows that the length at first capture (Lc) was 42.7 mm, the exploitation rate (E) 0.693 and the maximum allowable limit of exploitation (Emax) was 0.779 for the highest yield. The exploitation rate was less than the predicted Emax values, showing that the stock of P. candei was found to be under-exploited in the investigated area; however, its slow growth and long life make it extremely vulnerable to over-exploitation.