Japan's fishery harvest peaked in the late 1980s. To limit the race for fish, each fisherman could be provided with specific catch limits in the form of individual transferable quotas (ITQs). The market for ITQs would also help remove the most inefficient fishers. In this article we estimate the potential cost reduction associated with catch limits, and find that about 300 billion yen or about 3 billion dollars could be saved through the allocation and trading of individual-specific catch shares.
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