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September 25, 2008

Comments

Why do they have regulators decide the quota size? Why not just have the ITQ owners vote on the quota size?

The ocean is a tragedy of the commons in progress. Carve it up and then roof it over: http://hex.alife.co.uk/ocean_reclamation/

I don't understand how it can be economical to hunt wild fish. On land, mass production farms easily are cheaper than hunting. What are the fish farmers doing wrong?

"Why do they have regulators decide the quota size? Why not just have the ITQ owners vote on the quota size?"

Because most of them don't have a long-term interest in the fisheries. It's the same reason that employees shouldn't run big firms. Their goal is to maximize their lifetime income, not provide for the long-term health of fisheries. If you have a demographic situation like the baby boom, you could end up with a big majority of fishermen born in the same decade, all of whom would then vote to maximize the yield of fish over their expected working life. That is, today, a bunch of 30 year olds could vote to manage the fisheries in a way that maximizes their yield over another 30-40 years, beyond which they may or may not collapse. These fishermen wouldn't care.

What I wonder is, how do you prevent cheating?

What's wrong with just "enclosing" GPS polygons and selling to the highest bidder? Let civil law and the market take care of enforcement. There are precedents for the kind of hunt/farming where the game can move, but you try to persuade it not to with food and shelter - in England, quasi-wild birds such as pheasants "belong to" whoever owns the land they're on.

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