The Property Rights Challenge in Marine Fisheries

This Article argues that fisheries policymakers currently face a multifaceted challenge. Wild fish stocks are declining, aquaculture is growing, and there are many possible policy responses to these developments. Drawing on economic analysis of property rights, the Article frames the challenge facing policymakers as an optimization problem in which the objective should be to design property rights in fisheries that will produce the greatest net benefits. Complicating matters, the Article suggests that there is no single property arrangement that is optimal for fisheries in general and that policymakers will need to design many different property rights regimes to reflect local conditions.