The Center for Investigative Reporting has an outstanding animation up about fish politics and who controls the fisheries. Essentially, the catch shares system for regulating fisheries has turned into creating state-sponsored monopolies over the fishing grounds. It doesn’t have to be that way. A few catch share systems create regulations that keep the quotas in fishing communities, but mostly this has capitalized the oceans, which also makes it really hard to know whether this system is helping the fisheries recover.
Working-class communities have fought against government-approved monopolization of natural resource economies going back to at least the 1930s, but rarely with much success. That so many resources are depleted suggests many problems with this system, but it continues given the ability of corporations to engage in regulatory capture.
In a related story, Maine lobstermen are seeking to organize with the International Association of Machinists. Fishing workers have few rights and are very lightly unionized. They can’t restrict supply because of federal law, but they could press their clout before the Maine legislature through a union, which might help them live a more secure life.