Scarcity, Property Allocation, and Climate Change
To cope effectively and efficiently with changes in resource abundance and distribution, instruments to adjust fishing rate and capacity to stock productivity are needed. As evidenced by the situation of overcapacity, overfishing, ineffective enforcement of regulations and conflicts among users within and between uses prevailing in a majority of domestic and international fisheries and uses of aquatic ecosystems, those instruments do not match the new situation of resource scarcity. Schematically, such adjustments are effected through three basic mechanisms: (i) social structure of producers, such as in traditional communities; (ii) application of norms and controls by central governments and administrations; and (iii) market mechanisms. When allocation decisions must be taken to share scarce resources, those mechanisms require clear property regimes in order to function efficiently. Recent changes in the ocean regime have been an initial, but partial, move in that direction.