The system, which already operates in New Zealand, Iceland and the Philippines, sets a limit on the total allowable catch of any fish (such as the New Zealand orange roughy). Within that total catch, quotas are established, either by auction or by gift to inc**bent fishermen. These quotas are tradable among individual fishermen. This offers an escape clause for some fishermen who no longer operate economically. It encourages more successful fishermen to buy fishing rights and exercise their property rights responsibly by fishing within their quota and monitoring others to make sure they do so as well. It also encourages brokers to speed up transactions and even allows environmentalists to enter the market and buy (and retire) quotas if they believe stocks are being overfished.
The success of this system is astonishing. In New Zealand the "value of the fisheries have doubled in recent years," says Roger Beattie, a fisherman from Christchurch. The value of Icelandic fisheries has also soared, according to studies by Hannes Gissuarson, an Iceland University political science professor. Perhaps more importantly, fishermen in both locations have voluntarily reduced their catch to ensure sufficient stocks to provide a future livelihood. "Because they have the property right to secure future benefit from the resource, they are prepared to wait -- to optimize their returns" says Mr. Gissuarson."
the New Zealand experience has been cited in the BNP report for the UK for 2010 as well.
All in all, the old saying rings true " give a persona fish, feed them for a day, teach a person to fish, feed them for a lifetime".