Global Policy Forum

UNEP Endeavors to Reform Fishing Subsidies System

China View
April 27, 2004

The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) is holding a workshop here on Monday and Tuesday to review the various possible approaches and to reform the current fishing subsidies system.

More than 100 diplomats, trade and fisheries experts and environmentalists participated in the workshop, and will resume talks on international fishing subsidies at Geneva-based World Trade Organization Wednesday, UNEP said in a press release.

Participants are also taking a detailed look at the various effects resulting from current subsidies, including subsidies for fisheries infrastructure, management services, access to foreign countries' waters, decommissioning of vessels, capital costs, income support and price supports.

Thanks to both analytical and diplomatic advances, UNEP said, a growing consensus has emerged over the past two years on the role of fishing subsidies in distorting trade, creating overcapacity in fishing fleets and encouraging unsustainable levels of fishing.

Seventy-five percent of the world's commercially important fish stocks are described by the Food and Agriculture Organization as either fully fished, overexploited, depleted or slowly recovering.

Fishing subsidies can often encourage this over-exploitation, and can also undermine food security, destroy jobs in the fisheries sector, increase poverty and distort markets, said UNEP.

"It is no longer a question of whether, but of how international cooperation to reform fishing subsidies should move forward," said UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer.

"While the problem is complex, it is time to build on the growing momentum for reform by restructuring subsidy programs in ways that reduce incentives for overexploiting the world's increasingly depleted fisheries," he added.

More Information on Social and Economic Policy
More Information on The Environment
More Information on Agricultural Subsidies


FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Global Policy Forum distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.