Trade talks on fishing hold big risks for the region


THE Pacific Network on Globalisation (PANG) has released a briefing paper outlining the dangers that global trade talks on fisheries subsidies have for the ability of Pacific Islands countries to manage their fisheries and development.
The paper titled Caught in the Net: WTO fisheries Subsidies Negotiations – Key Concerns for Pacific Island Countries comes out ahead of next week’s ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organisation in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
“What we are seeing is rich industrial fishing nations using the guise of banning fishing subsidies to reopen market access and consolidate their market position in the fisheries value chain at the expense of those countries like the Pacific who own the resources and have the right to achieve their developmental aspirations,” PANG Trade Justice campaigner Adam Wolfenden said.
Negotiations have been focussed on the subsidies that related to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, overfishing of species and overcapacity of fishing vessels.
PANG Coordinator Maureen Penjueli said: “These negotiations aren’t about conservation or sustainability but are stealth attempts to use trade disciplines to attack the management measures of the Pacific Islands countries.
“Many proposals seek to undermine the sovereign right of developing countries to manage the resources in their Economic Exclusion Zones, as stated in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.