Monday, September 28, 2015

Go fish

The Mercatus Center scholars Foldvary and Hammer aren't limiting themselves to blowing up rationales for public utility monopoly. Nope. They also play TAG;
The Tag-A-Giant (TAG) project has been advancing the knowledge of bluefin and yellowfin tuna, tracking their movements, habits, and spawning and feeding regions.... Using improved tracking tags that gather data over months and years before releasing and relaying information by satellite, TAG has been able to track migration patterns of bluefin throughout the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. ...

The success of the TAG project, along with the possibilities offered by tuna farming and other fishery advances, suggests a way forward—transponder branding and fishery ownership. Transponder branding involves implanting a small transponder under the skin of the fish, in the same way that household pets are microchipped so they can be identified if lost. The transponder contains information on the owner of the fish as well as basic data on age and release location; more elaborate transponders can record movements over time and other data. For large, expensive fish such as bluefin tuna, these brands can allow fisheries to raise tuna to an age suitable for release into the wild and protect them for subsequent harvesting a few years later when they have grown. By using this technology, the aquaculturists can track their own tuna's movements for harvesting at optimal times, or they can allow third-party fishermen to capture the fish for a bounty. Although many different market structures are possible, one can imagine tuna fishermen being paid at market only for fish with transponders, with the wholesaler paying the farmer directly for the fish brought in, and the farmer paying a bounty on the return of the transponder. 
Such a system would induce greater incentives to catch only tuna that have been farmed or are otherwise clearly owned,as well as limit the incentives to underreport catches [to international regulators of fisheries].
No more destructive overfishing. Who could be against that...other than people who earn their living as regulators, that is?

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