Societies want protection of fishing sector


Over 80 civil society groups from around the world have called on World Trade Organisation (WTO) ministers to ensure that global trade talks on prohibiting fisheries subsidies must protect small-scale fishers, targets those with the greatest historical responsibility for overfishing and stock depletion, and protect the conservation and management measures of a country from being undermined.
“The fisheries subsidies negotiations were intended to prohibit subsidies that are harming fish stocks but what is currently on the table will allow those most responsible for over fishing off the hook and limit the ability for developing countries to develop their own fishing fleets to fish their waters” said Adam Wolfenden, campaigner for the Pacific Network on Globalisation
The open letter to WTO ministers comes ahead of the June 12-15 ministerial conference that is seen by some negotiators as a deadline for a deal.
“Small-scale fishers are some of the most vulnerable communities within the fisheries sector, many rely on government subsidy support to survive and are least responsible for the global state of fish stocks yet we are at risk of being caught up in this agreement,” said Margaret Nakato, coordinator of the Katosi.
“Small-scale fishers should be permanently excluded from any bans on subsidies” – Pacific Network on Globalisation