How can individual transferable quotas help address the tragedy of the commons in global fisheries?

1 Answer
Apr 23, 2018


Individual transferable quotas or ITQs give each individual a reason to invest in the overall health of the population.


Individual transferable quotas (ITQs) are also known as catch shares. They assign an exclusive but transferrable right to a set portion of the total allowable catch (TAC) of fish. ITQs give each individual a right and a stake in the "commons" or the fishery. (Review what tragedy of the commons is here). They are a form of property rights that grant access rights and privileges.

ITQs work when they are assigned to those actually doing the fishing and must be accompanied with monitoring and enforcement. The aquatic ecosystem must also be monitored regularly so that suitable ITQs can be assigned and the overall health of the ecosystem maintained.

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