NGOs CALL FOR AN END TO FISHERIES SUBSIDIES
NGOs call for an end to fisheries subsidies. BLOOM and 58 other international NGOs have written to the World Trade Organisation calling on their members to respect their engagement to conclude a binding agreement to eliminate fisheries subsidies before the end of 2019.
In September 2015, the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goal N°14.6, which states: “By 2020, prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of the World Trade Organization fisheries subsidies negotiation”.
Despite an effort to push forward the negotiation, States failed to achieve this objective at the last WTO conference in Buenos Aires in December 2017 but committed themselves to reaching an agreement at the next conference in 2019.
The letter says: “In 2018, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture estimated that a third of all fish stocks are exploited at unsustainable levels and another 60% have no room for increased fishing without jeopardizing sustainability. Decades of overfishing have taken a significant toll on ocean health, contributing to poverty, food insecurity, ecosystem imbalances, distorted markets, and unemployment. This is compounded by harmful subsidies, leading to serious social, environmental and economic impacts for the more than 1 billion people who depend on seafood as a main source of protein, and the more than 40 million people who rely directly on fishing for their income.”