Giving Compass’ Take:
• Rebecca M. Bratspies at The Atlantic argues that catch-shares fishing, the latest solution to the world’s overfishing crisis, is not ultimately as sustainable as it’s cracked up to be.
• How do preconceived notions of the consequences of sustainable practices get in the way of science and progress?
• Which nations benefit from global fishing? Click here to find out.
“Catch shares” are the latest fix-all solution to the world’s overfishing crisis, and that’s too bad. The idea was recently promoted by Gregg Easterbrook here in The Atlantic, and NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco has committed her agency to ” transitioning to catch shares as a solution to overfishing. Although it’s tempting to think that property rights will transform fishing into an industry focused on long-term sustainability, catch-shares are really just a retread of the same “markets will fix everything” thinking that has been thoroughly discredited.
Catch-shares allocate portions of the total catch within a fishery and give fishers a property-like right to a share of the fish. (These permits are freely tradable on the open market.) The alternative is open-access, in which anyone may catch fish until the total quota for the fishery is reached. Not surprisingly, open-access fisheries often involve a mad scramble to capture as large a share of fish as quickly as possible, the so-called “fisherman’s dilemma.”
Read the full article on catch-shares by Rebecca M. Bratspies at The Atlantic.
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