NEGOTIATIONS ON FISHERIES SUBSIDIES
DG Okonjo-Iweala said: “I warmly welcome Canada's swift and enthusiastic formal acceptance of the WTO Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies. This action, coming just days after Canada's generous donation to the WTO Fisheries Funding Mechanism, is a further demonstration of Canada's strong commitment to ocean sustainability through the WTO's work on fisheries subsidies, as well as its commitment to the WTO system as a whole. I applaud Canada for its leadership and urge other WTO member governments to follow suit in activating this agreement that is so vital for protecting our oceans today and for generations to come.”
Ambassador Theodore said: “Consistent with our commitment to UN SDG 14.6 and sustainable global fisheries, Canada is pleased to be the fifth WTO member to deposit its instrument of acceptance for the WTO Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies. The Agreement is the first environmental agreement to be negotiated at the WTO since its inception and makes important progress in addressing harmful fisheries subsidies, such as subsidies to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. Canada will continue to work with members to bring this Agreement into force.”
Adopted by consensus at the WTO's 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) held in Geneva on 12-17 June 2022, the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies sets new binding, multilateral rules to curb harmful subsidies, which are a key factor in the widespread depletion of the world's fish stocks. In addition, the Agreement recognizes the needs of developing and least-developed countries (LDCs) and establishes a Fund to provide technical assistance and capacity building to help them implement the obligations.
The Agreement prohibits support for illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, bans support for fishing overfished stocks, and ends subsidies for fishing on the unregulated high seas. Members also agreed at MC12 to continue negotiations on outstanding issues, with a view to making recommendations by MC13 for additional provisions that would further enhance the disciplines of the Agreement.
The full text of the Agreement can be accessed here. The list of members that have submitted their acceptance of the Agreement is available here.
Information for members on how to accept the Protocol of Amendment is available here.
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