Steaming towards a successful WTO fisheries subsidies agreement

The World Trade Organization meets every two years to adopt trade rules.
The next Ministerial Conference of the WTO (“MC11”) will be held from 10-13 December 2017 in Buenos Aires in Argentina.

The WTO has been trying to reach an agreement on the elimination of harmful fisheries subsidies for almost two decades, but prompted by the commitment expressed in the UN Sustainable Development Goal #14.6 to eliminate harmful fisheries subsidies by 2020, negotiators in Geneva have strong hopes that the impasse could be resolved this year in Buenos Aires. The UN Sustainable Development Goal 14.6 and the role of the WTO to achieve it were reiterated in June 2017 at the UN Ocean Conference held in New York.

WTO members have now submitted proposals in view of MC11 which BLOOM and the VARDA Group have analyzed.
Read our review here “The Low Hanging Fish, A Review of the seven WTO Draft Proposals addressing Harmful Fisheries Subsidies”

Cutting public subsidies that fuel overfishing and encourage the destruction of jobs and natural resources should be a low hanging fish for member countries negotiating at the Buenos Aires WTO conference.

BLOOM and the Varda Group urge all WTO members to reach in the next three months, on time for the Buenos Aires conference, a strong agreement that will provide the framework to eliminate harmful fisheries subsidies by the year 2020. The ocean and and fishers whose livelihoods are dependent on a healthy and productive ocean cannot further wait for strong collective action that will put a halt to the ongoing destruction of jobs and natural resources.

Read here BLOOM and VARDA’s briefing on harmful fisheries subsidies.

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