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World News: IISD/Pew Event calls for ambitious WTO deal on fisheries subsidies October 05,2021   |  Source: International Institute for Sustainable Development

How can new World Trade Organization (WTO) rules on fisheries subsidies benefit our ocean and fishing communities and what are the key concerns negotiators should keep in mind as they strive to finalize a deal? Speakers grappled with these questions at a virtual event during the WTO Public Forum 2021 on 29 September, highlighting the importance of reaching an ambitious agreement. The session was co-organized by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and The Pew Charitable Trusts. Alice Tipping, IISD’s Lead on Sustainable Trade and Fisheries Subsidies, moderated the event.

Disciplining fisheries subsidies: Why does it matter?

Chris Costello, Co-director of the Sustainable Fisheries Group, University of California, Santa Barbara, opened the discussion, explaining that fisheries subsidies often incentivize fishing beyond sustainable levels. In a context where 34% of assessed global fish stocks are already overexploited, such subsidies contribute to the depletion of fish stocks and negatively affect the socioeconomic well-being of communities who rely on fishing for livelihoods and nutrition. “Subsidies that encourage overfishing end up harming the very people that they were supposed to help,” Costello warned. Richard Damania, Chief Economist,


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