Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies

The WTO Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies, adopted at the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) on 17 June 2022, marks a major step forward for ocean sustainability by prohibiting harmful fisheries subsidies, which are a key factor in the widespread depletion of the world’s fish stocks. The Agreement represents a historic achievement for the membership as the first Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target to be fully met, the first SDG target met through a multilateral agreement, the first WTO agreement to focus on the environment, the first broad, binding, multilateral agreement on ocean sustainability, and only the second agreement reached at the WTO since its inception.

For the Agreement to become operational, two-thirds of members have to deposit their “instruments of acceptance” with the WTO. 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. While WTO members were not able to conclude "second wave" negotiations at MC13 despite coming enormously close to doing so, they were able to significantly narrow gaps and prepare the ground for its conclusion.

See also



Introduction: Fisheries Subsidies

Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies, Ministerial Decision of 17 June 2022

Members submitting acceptance of the Agreement

For the Agreement to enter into force, two-thirds of WTO members must formally accept the Protocol of the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies by depositing an “instrument of acceptance” with the WTO.

Instruments of acceptance

Information for members on how to deposit their “instruments of acceptance” of the protocol of the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies can be accessed here.

Fisheries Funding Mechanism

As part of the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies, members endorsed the establishment of a new funding mechanism to accept voluntary contributions, with the aim of providing technical assistance to developing country members to help them implement the Agreement.


The Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies delivers on the mandate from the 11th Ministerial Conference, as contained in the Buenos Aires Ministerial Decision, and on the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14.6, which is part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by all United Nations member states in 2015, and affirms the WTO's role in the global fisheries subsidies agenda.

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External links


International instruments related to fisheries



The WTO Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies: What it does and what comes next


Latest tweets about #FisheriesSubsidies from:wto

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