Tragedy of the Commons
Catching live fish using cyanide is easy. Crush a couple of sodium cyanide tablets into a squeegee bottle of water, dive around a coral reef, find a fish you fancy, and squirt the toxic liquid into its face. The mixture stuns the fish without killing it, making it easy to catch in a net, or even by hand.
In this video, we take a look at common goods. Common resources are nonexcludable but rival. For instance, no one can be excluded from fishing for tuna, but they are rival — for every tuna caught, there is one less for everyone else. Nonexcludable but rival resources often lead to what we call a “tragedy of the commons.”