Idiocy on fisheries

The G editorial and then some of the comments about fisheries and how to \”save\” them.

My comment there:

Lordy, we\’ve known the solution to this since Garrett Hardin wrote in the 60s. We even had Elinor Ostrom awarded a Nobel for her study of how to manage such communal resources.

Above a certain number of people trying to use a resource (Ostrom estimates low single digit thousands) there really is only one solution: private ownership of the resource.

Just as with farmers and farmland, we need to privatise ownership of the right to fish a certain stock.

And we\’ve actually tried this: the Alaskan halibut fishery. Works like a charm too.

There are still problems, yes, the deep ocean fisheries for tuna, marlin etc. But other than a bit in the Sea of Okhotsk, all of the commercial fisheries other than those tuna, marlin etc ones, are in national economic exclusion zones under the UN\’s Law of the Sea. We already have the legal structure, we\’ve got the theory, we\’ve got successful examples of implementation: all we need to do now is get on with it.

\”We need to take capitalism out of the equation\”

No, capitalism is the answer here.

2 thoughts on “Idiocy on fisheries”

  1. Hang on. Iceland manages perfectly well to deal with the fish in its territorial waters through government-allocated quotas. There are more than a thousand Icelanders….

    Tim adds: They’re tradeable quotas, property.

    There’s no doubt that the govt needs to allocate the property rights in the first place……

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