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Purported flaws in management strategy evaluation: basic problems or misinterpretations?


Butterworth, DS and Bentley, N and De Oliveira, JAA and Donovan, GP and Kell, LT and Parma, AM and Punt, AE and Sainsbury, K and Smith, ADM and Stokes, TK, Purported flaws in management strategy evaluation: basic problems or misinterpretations?, ICES Journal of Marine Science, 67, (3) pp. 567-574. ISSN 1054-3139 (2010) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsq009


Rochet and Rice, while recognizing management strategy evaluation (MSE) as an important step forward in fisheries management, level a number of criticisms at its implementation. Some of their points are sound, such as the need for care in representing uncertainties and for thorough documentation of the process. However, others evidence important misunderstandings. Although the difficulties in estimating tail probabilities and risks, as discussed by Rochet and Rice, are well known, their arguments that Efron's nonparametric bootstrap re-sampling method underestimates the probabilities of low values are flawed. In any case, though, the focus of MSEs is primarily on comparing performance and robustness across alternative management procedures (MPs), rather than on estimating absolute levels of risk. Qualitative methods can augment MSE, but their limitations also need to be recognized. Intelligence certainly needs to play a role in fisheries management, but not at the level of tinkering in the provision of annual advice, which Rochet and Rice apparently advocate, inter alia because this runs the risk of advice following noise rather than signal. Instead, intelligence should come into play in the exercise of oversight through the process of multiannual reviews of MSE and associated MPs. A number of examples are given of the process of interaction with stakeholders which should characterize MSE.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:management procedure; management strategy evaluation; Monte Carlo simulation; risk estimation; uncertainty
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Fisheries management
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
UTAS Author:Sainsbury, K (Professor Keith Sainsbury)
ID Code:70503
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:42
Deposited By:Research Division
Deposited On:2011-06-23
Last Modified:2011-06-23

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