Catch Shares versus Sharing Catch – Comment by Stephen J. Hall, David J. Mills & Neil L. Andrew

Lee van der Voo considers catch shares in the US to be, “one of the coolest vehicles environmental policy has seen in decades,” because they reduce fishing effort, diminish incentives to fish in dangerous weather, can boost the value of seafood, and most importantly, were designed to keep fishing rights with the fishermen and their communities. However this last attribute has not worked for most catch share programs,,, Van der Voo fears that over the long term catch shares will increase costs, fishermen will earn less because of higher rental payments owed to, “people in suits,” that own the fishing rights. Consumers would then pay more in this scenario while a handful of investors would become rich. Read the article here 08:22

  • DickyG

    Catch shares management is an economic scheme. It has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with conservation.

    But the catch shares scheme has everything to do with the consolidation, financialization, and industrialization of the resource.

    This will play to enriching a few huge fishing conglomerates such as the China Fishery Group as they gobble up quota worldwide and destroy small boat fishing operations.

    There’s no upside to catch shares, no “strengths”. When
    the fish are separated from the fishing license and thus from the fishermen, ultimately big money will come in and dissolve any “accumulation caps” on consolidation; then the well capitalized “market listed” companies will buy up groundfish quota, now a commodity up for grabs to the highest bidder.

    This kind of market-capitalized ownership and industrialization will denigrate the fish stocks, the fishing communities, and the fish product. This is a loss already evident for New England fisheries and it’s also a result forecasted by the sorry state of the nation’s consolidated and corporate owned and run farms and the consequent lack of quality and safety in most of our industrialized farm food products.

    The NY Times, The Boston Globe, various ENGO’s (EDF,PEW, Oceana, etc.), NOAA’s assessment and management caprices, and the NOAA enforcement boondoggles, all seem to line up in a direction which expedites this fisheries industrialization trend—where a few get rich at the expense of many. It almost looks sorta” intentional, a strategic plan of sorts—but it’s defended as “merely good ol’ free-market forces at work”.