Fisheries governance

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Region:    Global

Developing country assistance required to implement a possible WTO agreement on subsidies to fisheries 

 - Project Dates:
May 2019 - June 2019

Description of Project:
The objective of this contract was the production of a short presentation summarising the areas where developing countries may require technical assistance to help implement a WTO agreement on subsidies to fisheries. The presentation focussed on the kinds of policy reforms that countries might need to undertake to implement different disciplines, and the kinds of assistance (primarily in the design of subsidy policies, but also in the design and impelementation of fisheries management) that could help to support implementation. The presentation was delivered at a side event during a June 2019 meeting of the WTO Rules Negotiating Group.

The presentation formed part of an overall project implemented by IISD with support from the Pew Charitable Trusts and the government of New Zealand. The overall objective of the project was to secure WTO disciplines on fisheries subsidies that lead to a meaningful change in subsidy patterns. The project was designed to address three key challenges in the negotiations: (a) a lack of understanding of the concepts and realities of fisheries management and how subsidy rules could be built with reference to fisheries management concepts and decisions; (b) uncertainty and concern about how possible subsidy rules would apply in practice; and (c) an absence of opportunities for delegations to discuss, with the benefit of expert in-put, ways in which large gaps between positions in the negotiations might be bridged.