Individual fishing quota

Individual fishing quota

Individual fishing quotas (popularly abbreviated to "IFQ") are one kind of "catch share," a means by which many governments have tried to regulate fishing. Due to the widely recognized decimation of wild fish populations, governments set a species-by-species limit of total allowable catches (TAC). In the United States, the limits are based on historical records of fishing and given out as property rights to fishermen and companies. These programs have been criticized for the barrier it has made for new fishers to enter the market. Additionally, the program reduces what had previously been a public commodity to being restricted to private industry. While intending to help declining fishing stocks, there has been some evidence showing that due to highgrading little progress has been made.

Examples of fishing areas currently using an IFQ system include New Zealand, Chile, Iceland, Australia Southeast Trawl, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, The Alaskan Halibut and Sablefish Fisheries, The Mid Atlantic Surf Clams/Ocean Quahogs Fisheries, The (American) Westcoast Sablefish Fisheries, and Scotland's Shetland Islands Fisheries.

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