Quantcast

Trade Ministers Call for Action on Dangers of Fishing Subsidies

Oceana

Trade Ministers Tim Groser of New Zealand and Dr. Craig Emerson of Australia joined officials from a diverse group of countries Dec. 16 at the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to release a statement reaffirming the need for and their commitment to establishing strong trade rules on subsidies that lead to overfishing. The other countries included Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Norway, Peru and the U.S.

The statement also highlighted the dangers of fishing subsidies to trade, jobs and food security, and called for all countries to take timely action on this problem both collectively and individually. Environmental groups—including Oceana—applauded the statement.

“Countries cannot use other trade problems as an excuse for not addressing fisheries subsidies,” said Courtney Sakai, senior campaign director at Oceana. “The world’s fisheries continue to deteriorate and there is no time for countries to wait to take action on subsidies.”

Well-known and loved advocate Finley the Fish made a special guest appearance Dec. 16 to shake fins and show support for his WTO friends. Earlier this week, Finley met with officials at the WTO. Finley also met with Minister Groser and other Ambassadors and delegates at an Oceana reception in Geneva.

“Don’t let Finley be the last fish in the sea,” said Sakai. “Finley’s friends everywhere can join together to create a global effort to turn the tide for the world’s fish.”

Background Information

The WTO is the 153-country organization responsible for negotiating the rules governing international trade and settling related disputes. In 2001, the WTO initiated a dedicated negotiation on fisheries subsidies as part of its Doha trade agenda and continues to work to address the issue today.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 85 percent of the world’s fisheries are fully exploited, overexploited, depleted, or recovering from depletion—the highest percentage since FAO began keeping records, and a 10 percent increase from four years ago.

Many governments continue to provide significant subsidies that push their fleets to fish longer, harder and farther away than otherwise would be possible. Destructive fisheries subsidies are estimated to be at least $16 billion annually, an amount equivalent to approximately 20 percent of the value of the world catch. The scope and effects of these “overfishing subsidies” are so significant that eliminating them is the single greatest action that can be taken to protect the world’s oceans.

For more information about Oceana’s campaign to stop overfishing subsidies, click here.

For more information, click here.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

California Condor at soaring at the Grand Canyon. Pavliha / iStock / Getty Images

North America's largest bird passed an important milestone this spring when the 1,000th California condor chick hatched since recovery efforts began, NPR reported Sunday.

Read More Show Less
The Roloway monkey has been pushed closer to extinction. Sonja Wolters / WAPCA / IUCN

The statistics around threatened species are looking grim. A new report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has added more than 9,000 new additions to its Red List of threatened species, pushing the total number of species on the list to more than 105,000 for the first time, according to the Guardian.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Golde Wallingford submitted this photo of "Pure Joy" to EcoWatch's first photo contest. Golde Wallingford

EcoWatch is pleased to announce our third photo contest!

Read More Show Less
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP / Getty Images

The campaign to re-elect President Donald Trump has found a new way to troll liberals and sea turtles.

Read More Show Less
Night long exposure photograph of wildifires in Santa Clarita, California. FrozenShutter / E+ / Getty Images

By Kristy Dahl

Last week, UCS released Killer Heat, a report analyzing how the frequency of days with a dangerously hot heat index — the combination of temperature and humidity the National Weather Service calls the "feels like" temperature — will change in response to the global emissions choices we make in the coming decades.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A Zara store in Times Square, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. Timahaowemi / CC BY-SA 3.0

Green is the new black at Zara.

The Spanish fast fashion behemoth has made a bold move to steer its industry to a more environmentally friendly future for textiles. Inditex, Zara's parent company, announced that all the polyester, cotton and linen it uses will be sustainably produced by 2025, as CNN reported.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Gavin Van De Walle, MS, RD

Whether you enjoy running recreationally, competitively, or as part of your overall wellness goals, it's a great way to improve your heart health.

Read More Show Less
Text from the plaque that will mark the site where Ok glacier once was. Rice University

By Andrea Germanos

A climate change victim in Iceland is set to be memorialized with a monument that underscores the urgent crisis.

Read More Show Less