Over the past two weeks, National Public Radio (NPR) has carried stories on the plight of the bluefin tuna and on the conservation campaign designed to save the endangered fish. Restaurants and supermarket chains have pledged to boycott the delectable creature until governments lower fishing quotas. Some vocal fishermen naturally oppose reductions in their quotas, because this would hurt their livelihood.
The whole episode is just another demonstration of the conflict that arises whenever government regulation tries to solve a problem caused by a lack of property rights. If people owned portions of the ocean, then the bluefin tuna would become as ubiquitous as cattle.
03 Dec 2010