The whole concept that humans “own” the fish in the sea is objectionable, but that is the system that humanity has created to try and regulate fishing. And it’s a system that does not work very well, or protect small fishermen.
Here’s an interesting take on the failed system, by the Center For Investigative Reporting (via GOOD):
I would prefer that we figure out an alternative food source to fish, and let the oceans be. But if we are to fish, it needs to be globally managed on the basis of the principle that all earth’s resources should be shared sustainably by all earth’s people–and not according to who has coastline–and quotas should be drastically reduced according to the most conservative scientific evidence regarding what annual take any given fish stock can handle.