Give a Man a Fish: The Case for a Property Rights Approach to Fisheries Management

The saying goes, “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.” Today, that could be rephrased: “Pay a man to fish and he will eat everyone’s fish. Give a man property rights to fish, and we will eat for life.” Government subsidies and disregard for property rights have led us to the brink of maritime ecological disaster. Ending subsidies and guaranteeing genuine property rights in fish stocks will improve management of fisheries, leading to an improved environment and fish enough for all, indeed.

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