Establishing Property Rights in a Commons

After reading this blog post on the North Atlantic cod fisheries, I had a quick thought on how to privatize the resource fairly: Create a corporation with ownership rights over the fish resources and give everyone currently fishing an area shares in the corporation in proportion to their current catch.

UPDATE: The point here was don't privatize the commons through one of these shite schemes where some state pretends its the owner and then auctions off the commons, which is snatched up by some large statist corporation, which sells the right to fish there to the current users who really already own it.


  1. The Devil's Advocate in me thinks that perhaps a three-season average would be a better measurement.

    Some years are better than others, at least, based on what I've seen of that Discovery Channel show.

  2. Yes, "current catch" is left vaguely defined on purpose -- this was supposed to be a hint, not a plan.


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