Subsidy opposition gathers momentum

Fishing vessel

Source: European Commission

A growing number of countries are signing up to end harmful fisheries subsidies and their contribution to the depletion of fish stocks

For the Fisheries Subsidies Agreement reached by World Trade Organisation (WTO) members in June 2022 to come to life and start delivering benefits for fisheries sustainability and improving the lives of fishers, it’s critical that two-thirds of those 164 members accept it as soon as possible, according to WTO Deputy Director-General Angela Ellard.

In a rally cry issued to parliamentarians around the world on 15 May 2023, Ellard urged politicians to engage further with their governments as well as legislators from other countries to help deliver the multilateral agreement.

She explained the agreement is significant because by prohibiting certain harmful types of fisheries subsidies, it delivers on UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 14.6 after more than 21 years of negotiations, making it the first SDG target addressed through a multilateral agreement. Additionally, this is the first WTO agreement where members have used a subsidies discipline for an objective other than addressing purely economic effects of subsidies. 

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