I believe the government has to step in somewhat and give financial compensation to fishermen so fish stocks can be renewed in areas where overfishing is taking place. The significant depletion of fish stocks ultimately is harmful to the environment, the regional and national economy, and the nation's export strength. Therefore, measures must be taken to grow fish stocks while helping fishermen absorb the brunt of the economic hardship they will experience.
Consider what happened in the Maritimes, in Canada, in the early nineties. The Canadian government shut down Newfoundland's northern cod fish industry. The cod stocks were dwindling dramatically. This was due to overfishing, mismanagement in the industry, as well as environmental changes that affected the cod stocks. Today, there are indications that cod stocks are growing in the area once again.
At the time, the Canadian government did provide some compensation to the fishing industry. Multiple thousands in the industry were laid-off. The government offered a five-year compensation package. This was the federal government's 1.9 billion dollar program called TAGS - The Atlantic Groundfish Strategy Program. I believe programs such as this are necessary to help fishermen retrain in new careers; they are a safety net to help fishermen survive while they look for new avenues to earn a living and support themselves and their families - especially in these turbulent economic times.
Cod Fishing in Newfoundland
5 Fish Per Day