Originally Posted By: issodhos
A libertarian solution would be based on property rights. The fishing area within the EU waters would be divided into specific sections and the commercial fishing rights to those sections would be auctioned at market price to fishermen.


Thanks for engaging on this level, i repeat the proviso that this is a thought experiment, meant purely to explore how a libertarian orientated socienty might work. wil all the health warnings a Hypo should have.


Interesting response, so the sea should be divided up and owned. I can see in theory how this might be done but this does raise a host of new queries.


Doesnt this go against the entire notion of the freedom of the seas? which i believe is an extremely strong tradition. I cant see fishhermen either supporting or it it came to fruition, respecting it. This would be asking fishermen to pay for something that they already have for free. How is such opposition to be overcome?

who then would decide upon the divisions? doesnt this process automatically favour the stronger, richer and squeeze out the "normal joe" fisherman into the crappier fishing grounds.

Who would benifit from the monies created from this water sale?

Does the process of division and sale not create a huge opportunity for corruption and graft on an even greater scale than exists today? I mean look at the size of the seas involved - the quantities of monies this would generate would be staggering.

It would involve the state selling off the sea which is something the fishermen already "own" in common.

Who indeed would police it? and how would this policing be funded. look at the area to be policed, by no means an easy or cheap task. I dont think we could rely upon the essential goodness of people to respect property rights can we? oh sure the big winners of the water sale would be able to fund a navy force, but even that would be far too small for the scale of sea. Oh and this would have the knock on effect of creating a huge temptation on the part of Big Fish to use their private navy to expand their sea patches (arrrr matey)

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Using the inverse of Ardy’s commons analogy, if a fisherman knows that his and his family’s livelihood depends on not over-fishing his section and treating it in an environmentally safe manner, he will regulate his harvest so that reproducing stock are left for the next season. He may even compete with other fishermen to make his section more hospitable and attractive to the fish, especially if the fish he is after is a migrating species. Just as a farmer seeks to leave a family farm to his son in better condition than it was when his father left it to him (yeah, I know, most farmers are guys), so too would the owner of the right to fish a specific piece of the EU waters want to leave it to his son or daughter better than when he purchased it (yes it would be inheritable private property).


hmmmmm, the farmer analogy is interesting, shall we take a look at what beef farmers are doing in the ex-rainforest areas of south america, maximising the use of the land, overgrazing it, furthering the process of desertification begun by deforestation. They are in danger now of destroying the land that provides for them. Are they engaging in " treating it in an environmentally safe manner, he will regulate his harvest so that reproducing stock are left for the next season."? or with their maximised profits move on to another peice of available land.
why would fishermen act any differently unless forced?

This also brings up the policing aspect. there will be those who overfish and deplete stock in their patch. the temptation will always be there to stray intentionally or otherwise into anothers patch and destroy any good work that might have been done conservation wise.

I agree that the principle of leaving a sustainable fishing ground to be passed onto future generations would be a most excellent tradition to build, but as with now, i think the "bread today" principle would dominate.


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I suspect we have more roads than we need, but, if someone wishes to have a road built to connect to a commercial, social, or other development site he will have to decide how much the road is worth and make his offer accordingly. If someone along the way does not want to sell her property at what he is offering, she will probably sell at a higher price. If not, or if her price is too steep his choice is to go around her or cancel the project. One less piece of the environment not paved over.:-)


so, no road built then. no matter how neccessary. okie dokie, at least thats clear.

(i do agree that we probably have too many roads - bring on the flying car!)

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That would be mistaking a free market for a perfect market, Schlack.


again thanks for the clarity. well i think I can say i can accept a much more imperfect market than you. given the imperfections of man, probably more apprpriate!
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