Posted by: Jimely Flores | November 21, 2017

On Reference Points: is “e-value” the right one? Maybe not.

It came as a shock to hear that “e-values” are being pushed as Reference Points for the management of Philippines’ fisheries resources. Reference Point for fisheries management should be tangible, understood by all concerns and should be biologically, ecologically, socially or economically sound and realistic. In advance countries where reference points had been used for fisheries management, reference points could either biomass or stock abundance, level of fishing effort to maintain healthy biomass and/or optimum economic yield that is still grounded to the status of the stocks underwater. For a Reference Point to be useful, it should always be directly hinged to the status of the stocks. 

Also there should be Performance Indicators related to how the harvest control measures are succesful in maintaining the established Reference Points. Performance indicators could be catch trends, market prices and trends, or exploitation rate or its empirical equivalent the “e-values.” The weakness of an “e-value” even as a performance indicator is, it could not be a predictive indicator, it is an after-event proof – sort of a post-mortem fact. When the result comes, it is already late, the policy it creates are reactive while we need a predictive indicator. 

The reason of some that the e-value is the only level of capacity the science workers could do is an insult to the regional NSAPs. They are better off than just that, they just need better guidance, their central leaders just need to open up the gate of collaboration. 

I am happy to learn of the developments. Finally NFRDI is opening their doors to other thoughts, other ideas, other experts whose only intention is to help. Thank you for the ray of hope. Change is indeed dawning.

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