Catch Shares and Individual Transferable Quotas (ITQs)

Catch shares are a system of fishery management. In this system, the right to harvest a specific geographic area, or a specific portion of a fishery's total allowable catch, is assigned to particular individuals or groups. Individual transferable quotas (ITQs) are one type of catch share: they are portions of a total allowable catch that can be bought, sold, or transferred to other individuals. The list below offers a primer on the concepts of catch shares and ITQs, how these concepts fit into ecosystem-based management, and how catch shares perform as a real-world fishery management tool.

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