(a ÷ 100,000,000) x b = cwhere – a is the number of quota shares held by the quota owner b is the Total Allowable Commercial Catch (expressed in kilos); and c is the amount of annual catch entitlement that would be generated by the amount of quota held by each quota owner (expressed in kilos). The Courts have confirmed the Minister’s ability to set the TACC at zero. If this occurs no ACE is generated but the investor retains their quota shares until they dispose of them. It is convenient for proponents of compensation to describe their interests in fish stocks as a “property right” because it implies the property at stake is fish. It isn’t. The only property is the shares held in the TACC. Catch entitlements – the amount of ACE – changes as the TACC is altered but the quota shareholding remains unaffected, therefore no liability for compensation arises for the Crown (and ultimately us the taxpayer). This parliamentary speech from 1990 summarises it nicely – “Under the proposal we have moved to proportionate quotas: the total allowable catch is set and the individual holders of those transferable quotas have their quota varied according to the proportion they hold. No compensation is involved, and, equally, people do not have to purchase any increase.” During the Supreme Court kahawai hearing the Chief Justice queried whether the matter of compensation was being successfully employed ‘interorum’, which is a legal threat usually given in hope of compelling someone to act. The Solicitor General replied, “I wont say yes and I wont say no”. Given Parliament’s clear statement and the structure of allocation described earlier it is indefensible, and goes against all principles, that increases in ACE ought to be free, but reductions need to be compensated. So, until the Courts or Parliament decide otherwise TACC reductions for any purpose, fisheries or conservation, do not reduce the “property” of quota shareholders, it simply alters the amount of available ACE.