We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
So much of political debates for the past 150 years have been about whether central control by supposed experts is preferable to private efforts to be good caretakers of their resources.
Regular readers know that we tend to have a deep distrust of government, central planning, and centralized power and believe that we are line with the Founders in that regard.
We have regularly posted about The Tragedy of the Commons here. The moral of the tragedy of the commons extends far beyond cow pastures, vast herds of bison, and marine resources. (In fact, it extends to government itself which tends to view the populace as an inexhaustable resource for its own purposes.)
Interesting article, but the problem is larger than a simple "assessed right". The real issue is bio-mass and how to sustain a certain level of self-replicating bio-mass without impact.
That is almost impossible given the current state of most fisheries. We tried this approach in the early '70s when striper stocks were very low and Hudson/Chesapeake striper bio-mass was at it's lowest level. Eventually, it took an outright ban, even on by-catch, to bring the stocks up to what COULD be considered sustainable, but in truth, isn't. The simple truth is that the previously unknown Thames River striper stocks actually saved the striper and not conservation techniques.
Currently, ground stock (cod, flounder, pollack, haddock, etc.) are faltering for much the same reasons - too much fishing pressure in too little space being pillaged by commercial vessels with too much technology so that targeting a specific species is much too easy.
Which brings me to my favorite subject when it comes to commercial fisheries and that is by-catch. The by-catch regulations are ridiculous and result in aggressive culling of non-targeted species - sometimes even wiping out local schools of non-targeted species.
However, I feel a rant coming on and I'm sure nobody want to read a couple of thousand words on fisheries. :>)
I don't think it's a property rights issue, but a disrespect of the property owner. We, the citizens, own the oceans. When we don't allow the fisherman to just get whatever they want, that's us, the property owners, trying to keep things under control. The fishermen should recognize this as a quasi-lease relationship.
You're missing the point. When "we, the citizens, own the oceans", they are a commons which no one has an incentive to preserve, just like the one in Garrett Hardin's story. Privatization in just about any form, even if corrupt, would eliminate that incentive trap and thus preserve the fishery.
The only real problem with implementing this solution generally and everywhere is the practical politics of getting every nation with fishing rights in the oceans to agree (in the case of fish populations that don't stay within one country). It will surprise me if anything is done to protect most north Atlantic species, for instance, until they're on the endangered species list (& maybe not then, since the eco-movement is against anything that would allow man to use more of the earth's resources).
This may be a good plan on paper but unfortunately ,once again, greed has taken control and instead of a reasonable number of fishermen having access to the resource, it is being given to a select few to become multi- millionaires while the thousands of others are sent down the road to find something else to do. It would seem as though nothing can be done anymore with out man's unquenchable love of money/power taking control.