Thursday, December 11, 2008

How to regulate fisheries.

Quotas don't work.

That much has been established around the world as we've tried to protect fisheries. It leads to tremendous waste of bycaught fish whose quotas have been exceeded.

Here is my proposal: (a) set a flat fee for bycatch and (b) auction off biomass rights as a percent of revenue to fishing companies.

The flat fee for bycatch would provide an incentive for people to (a) avoid bycatch and (b) sell it if they can (thus using it, rather than wasting it).

Auctioning the biomass rights would raise the price of sea products, thereby reducing the demand for them. As demand decreases, fewer fish (and other sea creatures), will be taken from the ocean, and they should recover (or at least not decline as quickly).

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