This paper describes the overfishing of the seas, in particular for cod in Sweden. It discusses policy instruments such as individual quotas, labelling and marine reserves. A tentative conclusion is that something needs to be done to the very structure of the policy instruments used. Information on stock depletion is available but goes unheeded and is counteracted by fishermen who want to fish more and who are routinely supported by “the political establishment” who appear to be most concerned about (shortterm) employment. The whole debate is taking place before the eyes of a general public that does not care sufficiently and difficult international bureaucracy. In this situation, the most important changes may be to strengthen both the rights and the duties of the fishermen. The integrity of fish stocks must be given absolute priority, but it is also important to motivate the fishermen with a greater stake and interest in the stock by giving them quotas that have, as far as possible, the characteristics of property.
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Vol. 34 • No. 2