The institutions of state central regulation of fishing are strongly inefficient: too many economically subsidized fishers chase a decreasing fish quantity; restrictions are not respected by unruly fishers; the state is captured by fishers' vested interests and uncapable of warranting the sea's biological sustainability. In 1986, New Zealand's neo-elected Labour government, supported by neo-liberal cognitions, reacted surprisingly introducing the system of Individual Transferable Quotas (ITQs) for fishing. This system, conceived by foreign fishery economists, was considered unviable and was still practically untested worldwide. The system is based on granting ITQs as property rights which can be exchanged on a free market. A strongly autonomous ministry regulates the total allowable fish catch. Fishers' subsidizing was abolished and fishers' unruliness punished with ITQ-curtailing. Till now, this new institutional system warranted both economic profitability and biological sustainability. This was possible also thanks to deep cognitive and value changes in fishers; they now aim at product quality and environmental responsibility. These changes have been supported by the spontaneous emergence, among fishers endowed with ITQs, of both national self-governance associations and decentralized institutions of fisheries' monitoring and enhancement.