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The Common Property Crisis and Its Solutions

The usage of the common property has recently exceeded the boundaries of the regular economic prediction. The crisis of the most rapidly growing populations implies the to solve the problem. Hardin addressed the issue through regulation and the moral aspect. Wade, accordingly, emphasized the “tragedy of commons”, i.e. the inability of cooperation and resource scarcity awareness. The research based on the Maine’s lobster fiefs proved the actuality of both authors and contemporary resource management and conservation. Although the finiteness of the marine resources cannot be solved from the technical perspective, the stronger regulation of the lobster industry, harsh poaching bans and chaotic catching cessation might solve the local overexploitation of the common property in the State of Maine. 

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The common property usage crisis originates from its irregular nature. Overpopulation requires higher food production rates to satisfy the growing demands. The “maintenance calories”, according to Hardin, can be met for the average individual. However, the efficient functioning and academic growth of human beings also require “work calories”, which constantly exceed the daily norm. As a result, the humanity would have, according to Hardin, “no gourmet meals, no vacations, no sports, no music, no literature, no art” to sustain its daily needs (1243). The finiteness of the food and production resources resulted in production maximization and the ability to restore the exploited soil and fauna. According to Hardin, the “optimum defining” brought forth the issue of the economic planning. On the one hand, consumption should have been regulated; on the other, the measurement scale remains undefined. This made the “Bentham’s goal unobtainable” and invoked moral concerns (Hardin 1244).  

The moral component of economic balance implied the ability to prevent overexploitation though the agreements to stop abuse. For instance, the herdsman can avoid overgrazing by not adding the additional animal to the herd. Similarly, the lobster fisheries of Maine should prevent overfishing within the region to put an end to the unbalanced usage of resources (Acheson 187). 

The solution to the issue lies within the readiness to cooperate and prevent overexploitation of the common property. According to Wade, natural competition and aspiration to increase revenue cannot be regulated without the governmental intrusion (219). The author explains that the resource abuse might be solved through the mutual agreement between the partners, though it is impossible rely on the human honesty. Accordingly, privatization or state regulation might assist the division and efficient usage of common property. The freehold resources, such as the ocean or atmosphere, cannot be measured from the legislative viewpoint, though the precise amount of fishing can be stated. In case A fishes more than B, A leaves less resources available for others. Wade explains that “congestion, depletion and degradation” would inevitably cause the uncontrolled looting of the finite resources (220). 

Wade provides the agreement model based on the example of the Indian villages to support the statement (224). He claims that the mutual consumption-renewal of the resources would efficiently solve the insufficiency problems and conserve exploitation at the particular rate. As a result, the herdsmen are not allowed to allow overgraze, while the other party uses the manure from the herds as a soil fertilizer. Additional mutual regulations, such as shepherding time, boundaries, payments, guarding, etc., are discussed in accordance with the industry specificities. This model might bring the solution to the common property usage when the resources are finite, but the number of users grows continuously.  

Practical examples prove the functionality of the agreement model in the State of Maine. Similarly to India, Maine suffers from overfishing, chaotic production and poaching within the lobster catching. Acheson’s research list the primary maritime exploitation issues: “open access, absence of ownership, absence of incentives and…increases in costs” (183). As a result, fishing is conducted because of the lacking regulation and persistent competition among the fisheries for suitable places and revenues. Lobster production and mackerel extraction have reduced as they have been the problematic subject during recent years. Winter lobstering results in further extraction during the season, when the nature needs renewal. In addition, chaotic lobstering results in scattering of the traps throughout the bay, which hits the nature even harder. Lobster dealers do not control the caught amounts, which causes extensive overproduction for the sake of price competition and revenue potential (Acheson 186). Accordingly, lobstering issue in Maine requires a solution that is similar to the Indian experience. 

The solution for Maine would consist of several aspects. Firstly, the fisheries of Maine should be controlled by either governmental or the local authorities. The united action would prescribe the fishing amount that should never exceed the norms in order for the species to renew and grow. Secondly, poaching should be outlawed, prevented and controlled. The exceeding of the stated norms might require “the suspension of the license” and other administrative punishments (189). The territorial division between the fisheries should not be violated and punished in the case of occurrence. Thirdly, the disputes between the fisheries should be solved on the legislative basis. The “cutting off” practice should be applied to dishonest actions that result in poaching and frequent subdivision extortion. If the cutting practice is a norm, then all of the fisheries will act likewise throughout the shore. The “encapsulating system” provided by Acheson would solve the issue when a single fishery operates within its own set, and not the larger system (189). Fourthly, territorial fishing waters should be either privatized by the local officials or divided between the fisheries. Otherwise, the scattering of the traps could not be prevented on the larger scale. Moreover, this act would contribute to the creation of harbor gangs that violate the boundaries of the fisheries too often. Fifthly, the “seasonal” rights for selling should be suspended or provided on the constant base only. This change would prevent “indigenous” fishing that violates the set timetable of resource management. Finally, the fisheries in Maine should become a system not only from the resource management viewpoint, but from the criminal perspective as well. The mentioned actions would cease the uncontrolled fishing and poaching within the region. 

To conclude, the efficiency of the common property usage is derived not from the resources availability, but the skills needed to maintain them. Control over the common property might be executed on two potential levels – either governmental controls or the mutual agreement between the participants. Hardin’s “extension in morality” is currently required to establish balanced production in the State of Maine. Contemporary governmental initiatives and prevention of chaotic production might solve the problem of resource abuse in any industry. Moreover, more control would decrease tension, reduce the cases of criminal fishing in the region and prevent further poaching. Wade’s “cooperative solution” still serves a strong basis for the economic planning of marine resource management. The example of Indian villages that have agreed on the resources division might serve as a functional model for Maine. However, the current state of affairs requires governmental intrusion. As a result, the usage of common property should be regulated to prevent abuse, overexploitation and inefficient management of the finite resources of the planet.