“Today is World Oceans Day, an occasion for
all of us to appreciate the beauty, power and wonder of the oceans which
provide humankind with so much. For many, the oceans are a source of
nourishment and livelihood. For others, a source of pleasure and sport.
But today is also a day to reflect on the harm which we have wrought to
these vast reservoirs which cover nearly two-thirds of the surface of
this planet. Today, we run the risk that over-fishing will so deplete
fish stocks in our oceans that many species will disappear forever.
“This is not only bad news for the oceans, it is bad news for the world's 43.5 million full-time fishers. Governments have contributed to this problem by providing nearly $16 billion annually in subsidies to the fisheries sector. This support keeps more boats on the water and fewer fish in the sea. But WTO members are now negotiating to reform these subsidies programmes so that fishing becomes a sustainable industry and so that we can fully appreciate our oceans' bounty for generations to come. A deal in the WTO now would mean richer oceans for future generations.”
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