Geneva, 15 June 2022 (TDI): In the Framework of the 12th Ministerial Conference (M12), the World Trade Organization WTO launched the Fisheries Funding Mechanism.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director General of the WTO officially presented the initiative. Its main objective is to prevent harmful fisheries subsidies.

Insight on Fisheries Worldwide

The fishing industry consists of multiple agents that manage fish or other sea animals. Fisheries are important for the world’s economy.

Fisheries are key actors in obtaining a major part of the world’s food resources. Marine products are relevant not only for human consumption but also for animal consumption.

According to several studies, fish contains essential nutrients for the heart and brain that are not available in other animal products.

Having a sustainable fishing industry is crucial for the global population’s well-being.

Aside from nutritious food, healthy oceans also supply economic development, climate regulation, and multiple jobs. Additionally, the state of the oceans has a strong impact on coastal communities.

Governments support fisheries with subsidies. Nevertheless, there are beneficial and damaging subsidies. Damaging subsidies promote overfishing and the destruction of marine habitats.

On the other hand, beneficial subsidies promote sustainable fishing practices. The initiative presented by the WTO intends to diminish the existence of damaging subsidies for fisheries.

The Fisheries Funding Mechanism intends to promote these beneficial subsidies.

Relevance of Fisheries for International Trade

The commercialization of fish or other sea animals is very relevant for international trade. A significant portion of the world’s fisheries´ exports come from developing countries.

Bitterly, human actions have negatively affected the oceans. Fish products carried further than biologically sustainable quantities have grown in the last years.

Unregulated and illegal fishing negatively impacts the fish population.

Moreover, great quantities of money that could represent economic benefits are lost due to these harmful practices. Besides, different oceanic habitats are being destroyed by human-made pollution.

All these things prevent the fish population from recovering as it should.

Insight on the Fisheries Funding Mechanism

Above all, the fund intends to help to develop and least developed countries. These potential beneficiary nations require technical assistance and funding to better administer their fisheries. Consequently, with this aid, governments will be less motivated to apply damaging subsidies. 

The World Trade Organization shared the news of the new Funding Mechanism on its official Twitter account:

Further, the goal of fisheries shouldn’t just be about commercializing marine products and earning revenues. Their existence is important for feeding humanity. Therefore, fisheries have to act in a sustainable way, where oceans continue thriving.

The idea is to reach a moment where every worker in the fishing industry, regardless of its size, continues earning decent quantities of money. For instance, that includes small-scale and artisanal fisheries that are most common in developing and least developed countries.

The WTO also shared a handy guide to better understand the Fisheries Funding Mechanism on its official Twitter account.

In conclusion, the actions that will be taken thanks to this fund could help restore ocean productivity. Thanks to that, multiple benefits will be generated in developing countries. In this way, the well-being of coastal communities, healthier oceans, and food security will be a closer reality.

 

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