Posted by: Jimely Flores | November 10, 2018

What Would Happen If Every Human Suddenly Disappeared?

learning is fun and reading intelligent materials is fulfillinf

ScienceSwitch

We have affected Earth so profoundly that most scientists believe we have left a permanent mark on Earth’s geological record. Humanity hasn’t always been here, and we know that we won’t be here forever. But what would happen if we suddenly disappeared?

THIS IS COOL. I WANT TO LEARN SOMETHING ELSE, TOO!

Video via – TED-Ed
Further Readings And References @ The World Without Us (Book), Phys, IPPR

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Posted by: Jimely Flores | November 4, 2018

Happiness is

Happiness is when you get to travel with friends

Happiness is when you meet great and inspirational people from all walks of life

Happiness is when you get to work with genuine and caring people

We are only just beginning to learn how aquatic organisms will respond to climate change, and the effect that this will have on their communities and ecosystems. One way to find out more is to look at whether species will be able to compensate for changes in their environment. Particularly if they can survive any […]

via Edible crabs won’t cope with the effects of climate change on seawater – new study — Ocean acidification

jimelyflores

Batanes mahi-mahi fishery

The Philippines is an archipelagic country with about 36,289 kilometers of coastline and  2.2 Million square kilometers of its entire Territorial Waters. Being part of the coral triangle, it is also one of the worlds’ center of marine biodiversity. It is a country blessed  with so rich natural capital. However despite the richness and resilience of these resources, data and studies are showing crisis of crash due to overexploitation is apparent.

distribution of fishers.JPG

Density of fishers per sq.km. of coastline. Green et al. 2003. Philippines Fisheries in Crisis: a Framework for Management.

For a multi-species fisheries just like the Philippines, the last indicator to show a decrease due to overexploitation would be total landings mainly because harvested species will just shift from the higher trophic to the lower trophic marine organisms. The decrease will only happen when the fisheries has exploited most of the higher trophic species and is down at exploiting the bottom of the marine food chain. From a highly dominated demersal and coral reef fisheries in the seventies to sardine, anchovies and the very small pelagic at present, of which are also recording decreases in landings despite the increasing fishing effort efficiency due to technological innovations.

marine capture landings

In its newly amended Fisheries Code RA 10654, it included provisions of Reference Points and Harvest Control Rules, both of which could be not effective if its established and implemented with the current spatial unit of management (commercial and municipal delineations) but mentioned a very important component such as the Fisheries Management Area. Somehow, in the law, FMA was not really mentioned in connection with the RP and HCRs probably because of the lack of insight while the law is being promulgated. But while the implementation of new revisions came into roll, the connection was immediately recognized and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources followed the right path. This is however something relatively different from the typical ways of management the country had been used to and many do not really grasp its importance that the industry, other scientists and even policy makers are not sold to the idea.

I however believed that this is the best path forward as of now within the bounds of the RA 10654 to harmonize conflicts and weak science foundation intrinsic in the the said law.

To name some of the pros of the Fisheries Management Area as a spatial unit of Management

  1. The existing 24 statistical areas (fishing grounds) was established in the past for statistical records and reporting purposes. Its biological, fisheries and ecosystem characteristics were secondary consideration in the past. Which is also not wrong because then, the fisheries sector is not yet that advance and fishing activities are mostly localized. Unlike now that fishers has the capacity to chase the fishes even at long and far distances from the homeports.
  2. It is a solution to the age-old discussion of delineation of municipal waters. Within the FMA, the Local Government Units should recognize that the resources they are managing knows no boundaries and they only strategic and rational way is to work in harmony with each other and recognize they are sharing the same resource with interconnected within their waters that one irresponsible decision would affect the integrity of the goals in that one Fisheries Management Area.
  3. This should also give solution to the basic lack of strong and institutionalized science support towards achieving a healthy, productive local marine environment and fisheries resources, managed and supported by a thriving fishing community.
  4. This will also facilitate upscaling of fisheries management schemes from reactionary and sweeping regulatory measures that are not based on the life history patterns of the resources and are not dynamic enough to take into considerations ecological and environmental oscillations, into more dynamic and resource status-based schemes.

Basic Vision for an FMA Governance Structure

fma governance

  1. The Science Advisory Body is composed of all scientists from all areas (social, economics, governance, biological, ecological, industry) that sets the program, path and do all the science research needed for a timely, credible and relevant advice on the status of the resources, the environment and the nexus between  economics, governance, environment and resources. Having this structure in the FMA would be a real change in how we manage our fisheries resources and industry. This is  one of the gaps on why despite all our efforts now and in the past we are still sliding towards the final crash. Let us not continue treading the dark path of ignorance and data insufficiency. Technology made information accessible and cheaper than before, we do not have any excuse anymore.
  2. The policy making body should be free of political interests. Based on observation this is where our weakness had been. Most of our policies are not science-based but were tainted if not products of political motivations.
  3. The enforcers and implementer could still be BFAR and the LGUs and others as usual.

 

Posted by: Jimely Flores | October 23, 2018

EDF Philippines started scoping in Lagonoy Gulf

EDF scoping in Tiwi Mao

#fish-huggers@Tiwi Municpal Agriculture Office (photo by Dr. Jose Ingles)

Environmental Defense Fund in the Philippines (EDF Philippines aka #fish-huggers) chose to work in Lagonoy Gulf as one of its pilot site into helping the stakeholders come up with a truly people-and-resources-centered fisheries management plan that incorporates the capacity of the fisheries resources and economic goals of the resource-users using science, economics equity, and transparent good governance.

Because EDF incorporates science in its way of doing things, the lean team is starting with strategic scoping guided by its toolkit (http://fisherysolutionscenter.edf.org/fisheries-toolkit/project-phases). This way, the results would be well-documented and the methodologies replicate-able.

The first site we landed on is the Municipality of Tiwi and it is a great learning experience talking with the Fisheries Technician (in the photo, photo was taken by Dr. Jose Ingles as part of the team) and his colleagues. It is a journey to look forward to and I am sure the lessons and knowledge I will be gleaning would exponentially enriched my knowledge and personality.

Posted by: Jimely Flores | October 22, 2018

Climate Change as perceived

Thank you to climate change all things bad happening is being blamed into it, from decreasing harvest in agriculture, decreasing catch in fisheries capture, landslides, and others. That should be fine and welcome as it could indicate high or increasing level of awareness of the populace. Unfortunately, very few realized that climate change is a man-made phenomena and is unlike El Nino and La Nina which are both natural weather oscillations.

Climate change is a result of too much carbon and other gases emission that is changing climate patterns from the normal and expected. It is true that climate change poses risks to the abundance, life history patterns and survival of living things. However, even without climate change, irresponsible agriculture practices, overfishing and abuse of nature are the true culprit of their disappearances which is true to the Philippines.

Studies show that lands are mostly tilled unceasingly, forests are denuded by both irresponsible logging, agriculture and mining, marine resources are overfished from the top to the bottom of the trophic level and now even the bottom trophic level are showing patterns of decreasing catches. Climate change will just intensify such negative changes, had they been in a healthier stage however, these abused natural resources should have been more resilient from the impacts of climate change.

 

 

Posted by: Jimely Flores | October 21, 2018

Contrarians

20171209_172938.jpg

Contrarians are positive forces in the society. They are the people who are not afraid to think otherwise and most of the multi-billion businesses, successful governments and life-changing ideas were from people who never follow the thoughts of the crowd – the contrarians in their circle. They are not afraid of ridicule, isolation and the bullying tendency of the crowd.

Their major fault is patience, they just have no patience to scratch egos of the self-appointed mouthpiece and leaders of the masses. In Philippine culture, contrarians are despised, isolated and bullied because the community common knowledge, though obviously wrong, should never be questioned. Urban legends and science myths are accepted facts even when proven to be just creative lies of selfish agendas.

Examples of accepted facts and myths and could be contrarians arguments are: F. Marcos and B. Aquino are heroes (accepted but opposing facts by two groups) – (contrarians say) both are not Philippines heroes, just politicians of the same skin; Philippines has great laws and policies but implementation is weak (pride of the elites) – (contrarian analysts say) policies are either copied from other countries or brought out by a dramatic demands from groups without much truthful basis, that is why compliance is nil and circumventing such laws are easy; natural resources are infinite blessings of God (myth of the masses and mass-friendly scientists) – (contrarian scientists say) natural resources are finite and we are now suffering from their losses due to irresponsible usage of the past and the present generation, etc. etc.

 

Posted by: Jimely Flores | October 19, 2018

The TaBiRay FMA BFAR-NSAP Scientists wading with numbers

taBiRay Group

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) in the Philippines is dipping into the science part  of fisheries management work, providing training on the different tools and introducing the Framework on Integrated Stock and Habitat Evaluation (FISHE) to science partners.

Analysts of the National Stock Assessment Program of Region 5 and 8 worked together with the goal of pooling data  for a holistic analysis to provide insights into the status of sardine fisheries in Ticao Pass, Burias Pass, Ragay Gulf and Samar Sea.

TaBiRay is the second Fisheries Management Area where NSAP data were pooled and analysed for a single fishing area but collected separately by different regional programs. The first one was Visayan Sea where Regions 5, 6 & 7 sat together for the same purpose.

Both was a result from a formal Agreement between the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and EDF. Aside from the standardization and pooling of data for processing, the analysts also looked into several internationally accepted Performance Indicators and Reference Points to clearly describe what is happening to the fisheries, and provide better advice to policy makers. This is the first step for the Philippines Fisheries sector to embrace modern fisheries management concepts.

Posted by: Jimely Flores | October 19, 2018

EDF in Lagonoy Gulf

Environmental Defense Fund, as a new non-government organization player in the country, chooses Lagonoy Gulf Fishing Communities as its partner for its vision to move existing fisheries management into the fourth wave of modern and innovative concepts.

Aware of the great job WWF’s with the tuna fishers, EDF chose to work on the non-tuna fisheries but still in full coordination with the efforts of the tuna being fully aware that those fisheries resources are interconnected.

Unlike other NGO’s with a fixed program, EDF will not be following that path. EDF will work in the area as partner to facilitate achieving the goals of the communities for long lasting, available and accessible seafood supply. It will be introducing the FISHE (Framework for Integrated Stock and Habitat Evaluation) as the process of coming up with a Fisheries Management Plan that is truly based on the principle of Ecosystem Approach taking into full consideration the health of the resources and the community well-being as basis for controls and regulations.

It was a privilege being invited in the IFARMC meeting as a starting step towards deeper engagement and am so thankful for the kind and welcoming faces of the IFARMC representatives. It is now a journey to look forward to, and personally to learn another language in my bucket of language capabilities.

IMG_1883[1]

 

Posted by: Jimely Flores | October 17, 2018

Happy to be back

It was some years back when I had the greatest lesson on the value and virtue of patience. It was from the two tuna fishers in Lagonoy Gulf. From dawn up the wee hours of the night, I was a silent observer/admirer on how simple and happy they face life with or without the financial abundance. Out of the baits, they create fantastic dishes that even a five star hotel chef could not compete with. Even with zero catch for several days, humor and faith still bring spring to their gaits. Their love to their families are some treasures money could not equal. And their patience is very admirable that keeps me in check.

When I saw Kuya’s face brightens with our arrival, I know I made the right shift. I am happy to be back and looking forward to the journey.

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