NEGOTIATIONS ON FISHERIES SUBSIDIES
DG Okonjo-Iweala said: “I welcome Chile's formal acceptance of the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies. Chile is among the world's leading fishing nations, and the sector is an important driver of job creation in the country. Its support for the Agreement underscores the importance of disciplining fisheries subsidies to preserve marine resources and safeguard the livelihoods of people who depend on thriving, sustainable fisheries.”
Ms Sanhueza said: “We are very pleased. We have deposited the agreement on the elimination of industrial fisheries subsidies, which was adopted at the World Trade Organization a few months ago. This is a very important agreement, especially for countries in the Pacific, where our marine ecosystems are generally being overexploited. It also seeks to address the global challenges we face in terms of the sustainability of our environment and our oceans.”
Chile's instrument of acceptance brings the total number of WTO members that have formally accepted the Agreement to 53. This is nearly half of what is needed for the Agreement to come into effect (two-thirds of the WTO membership).
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 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, to be held in February 2024 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 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 deposited their instruments of acceptance is available here. Information for members on how to accept the Protocol of Amendment is available here.