DG Okonjo-Iweala said: “I am delighted that Cabo Verde has formally accepted the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies. The significance of coastal fisheries to Cabo Verde cannot be overstated: 80 per cent of its people reside along the coast, and these waters sustain food security and livelihoods as well as the wider national economy. We look forward to witnessing the positive impact of the Agreement on the well-being of Cabo Verde's coastal communities, and hope more WTO members will follow suit so that this important agreement enters into force soon.”

Ambassador Delgado said: “My country, the Republic of Cabo Verde, is an ocean state endowed with a substantial maritime area. It therefore has a vested interest in a healthy and effective management of the ocean's fisheries resources. I am glad to note that the WTO Protocol on Fisheries Subsidies goes in this direction. Cabo Verde has, therefore, taken the decision to formally accept this Protocol. I am sure that this Protocol will greatly contribute to the reinforcement of measures to protect and preserve fisheries. It is my honour and pleasure to transmit to you Cabo Verde's instrument of acceptance of this Protocol. We are looking forward to its early entry into force and, to that end, we respectfully encourage other states that have not done so to join us by depositing their instrument of acceptance of this Protocol as well.”

Cabo Verde's instrument of acceptance brings the total number of WTO members that have formally accepted the Agreement to 56. This is 51 per cent 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.




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