In this chapter Martin Quaas gives some arguments for an economic solution to the global overfishing problem. The fundamental problem is that there is a price for fish on land once it is harvested, but no price for fish that is alive and in the ocean, which leads to overfishing because the fishermen not have a price for the fish they catch. The solution is to establish a price for the fish in the ocean by issuing individual quotes that give permission to catch a certain quantity of fish from the ocean which can be traded in the market. This is an individual transferable quota system (ITQ) or a catch share system. The regulator sets the total allowable catches, and the fishermen are like shareholders of the company. This system is in place in New Zealand and is able to value fish as natural capital assets.
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