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commercial-fishing-boat_15053Catch share is one solution for overfishing that is being adopted by some US fishing fleets. The problem is a classic tragedy of the commons situation, where property rights are not established for a resource. In this case the resource is the ocean’s fish populations, where anyone is free to catch–and perhaps over harvest–the fish. 

Overall quotas for many areas have been enforced for years now, but they push fishermen into a reckless race to catch as much as they can before the quota is reached. Catch share gives each fisherman a quota of his own, allowing time to avoid bycatch of overfished species and destruction of the sea floor. It is a curious sort of property right, but works in the same way. If I have a personal right to the resource, I will take care of it and ensure that it is not destroyed.

In this case, it would seem there are still incentives to use dragnets and catch overfished species, just as a way to save money, but boats will carry independent observers to monitor every catch.

(Don’t forget to visit condron.us and alphainventions.com)
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