Director-General Okonjo-Iweala said: “I am pleased to receive Russia's instrument of acceptance of the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies. Russia's formal acceptance demonstrates leadership and commitment to ocean sustainability. It brings this landmark agreement closer to entry into force, and underscores the importance of global cooperation for the benefit of people and planet. I urge the remaining WTO members to also deposit their instruments of acceptance.”

Ambassador Nikolai Platonov said: “Today, I have the honour to deposit Russia's formal instrument of acceptance of the WTO Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies. This agreement is essential in terms of preventing and combating unsustainable patterns of marine capture production such as illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, activities in unregulated high seas, as well as in overfished stocks. Given that Russia is one of the major sea fishing nations, we hope that our acceptance will also contribute to completion by other members of their domestic procedures so that the treaty can enter into force sooner rather than later. Such a scenario would definitely bring all of us closer to achieving the UN 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals.”

Russia's instrument of acceptance brings the total number of WTO members that have formally accepted the Agreement to 72. Thirty-eight more formal acceptances are needed for the Agreement to come into effect. The Agreement will enter into force upon acceptance of its legal instrument by two-thirds of the 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 adopting 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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