BBC News: World’s Fishing Fleets Mapped from Orbit

This BBC article on big data and fisheries is fascinating. Using satellite photography, researchers have mapped all of the world’s fisheries by area, finding that fishery area is larger than arable acreage while providing less than 2% of all calories consumed. I also found the conclusion thought-provoking that the patterns reveal larger effects from politics … More BBC News: World’s Fishing Fleets Mapped from Orbit

Good Environmental News from the Chesapeake

I think we could use some good news this week. According to an article in the Baltimore Sun, the current blue crab population in the Chesapeake Bay is one-third larger than it was at the same time in 2015: There are more than 550 million blue crabs in the Chesapeake Bay, an increase of more … More Good Environmental News from the Chesapeake

Social Costs of Oil and Gas Leasing on Federal Lands, Carefully Considered

OVERVIEW: A report filed with the US Department of the Interior recommended that terms governing the leasing of federal land for oil and gas development be updated to reflect social costs associated with such development. While such costs may be policy relevant, I suggest social costs are smaller than the report indicates and the recommended policy … More Social Costs of Oil and Gas Leasing on Federal Lands, Carefully Considered

Catch Shares and Sustainable Fishing

Lynne Kiesling Yesterday was Earth Day, and here’s a good way to observe it: Andrew Langer and Iain Murray argue for catch shares as a sustainable free-market fisheries policy. The idea is simple: give fishermen an ownership stake in a particular fishery through the assignment of quotas, which can be traded. The quotas give individual … More Catch Shares and Sustainable Fishing

Jonathan Adler on Common-pool Resources

Lynne Kiesling Case Western law professor Jonathan Adler (someone to whom I link frequently here) is guest blogging for Megan McArdle at the Atlantic right now, and he’s sharing some valuable insights from his research in environmental and administrative law. His first post lays a foundation by summarizing and analyzing Garrett Hardin’s seminal “tragedy of … More Jonathan Adler on Common-pool Resources

Overfishing Conference at Perc

Lynne Kiesling Jonathan Adler reports from a PERC workshop on fisheries management and how property rights institutions can reduce pervasive overfishing problems in fishing. Overfishing is a serious environmental and economic problem, and Jon provides excellent links to the body of research showing that property rights institutions, such as tradeable catch shares, can reduce overfishing … More Overfishing Conference at Perc

Pandering, Politicians, and Oil Prices

Michael Giberson The Free Dictionary defines pandering as, among other things, “To cater to the lower tastes and desires of others or exploit their weaknesses.” Here is a new example of the common political variant of pandering: The newly organized federal Oil and Gas Price Fraud Working Group. Consumers don’t like high gasoline prices and … More Pandering, Politicians, and Oil Prices

Oil Speculator Witch Hunt, 2011 Edition

Lynne Kiesling Following up on Mike’s post yesterday about pandering politicians and their 2011 edition of the recurring petroleum price witch hunt … Others have weighed in on the idiocy of this “Oil and Gas Price Fraud Working Group”. Let’s start with KP’s go-to energy finance economist, Craig Pirrong: … it’s an opportunistic effort to … More Oil Speculator Witch Hunt, 2011 Edition

Gusher of BP Oil-spill Fund Creates “Spillionaires”

Michael Giberson A story reported by Kim Barker, ProPublica (a version of the story ran in the Washington Post). I’m excerpting several parts of the story, but the whole story is worth a look: The oil spill that was once expected to bring economic ruin to the Gulf Coast appears to have delivered something entirely … More Gusher of BP Oil-spill Fund Creates “Spillionaires”

Overfishing and the Impending Collapse of Fisheries

Lynne Kiesling Why is it so difficult, in terms of politics and transaction costs, to define and enforce property rights in fish? If we fail to do so, some important fish species are likely to go extinct due to overfishing, such as the bluefin tuna. Migratory fish like the bluefin pose the biggest policy challenges, … More Overfishing and the Impending Collapse of Fisheries