12 Oct '11, 3pm

Loving Tuna to Death: The Price of Wild Food

Loving Tuna to Death: The Price of Wild Food

If scientists agree that the Atlantic bluefin tuna population is collapsing, why does the intergovernmental agency responsible for setting fishing quotas, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), set the limit at a level scientists believe is too high for species recovery? Wild fish are a common resource. They have no owner, that is, until they are caught. If bluefin tuna had an owner, the resource would likely be conserved and managed to maximize profits over the long-term. With no owner, however, the growing scarcity of the species, and the resulting high prices, are leading to competitive rent seeking by interested parties. Rent seeking is the economic term for the selfish lobbying for favorable policies. Seeing the high prices, fishermen lobby for higher quotas and note that there appear to be plenty of fish to catch. Politicians fee...

Full article: http://www.triplepundit.com/2011/10/loving-tuna-death-pri...

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