The fisheries sector is in crisis. Inappropriate subsidies to the fishing industry are a key factor responsible for worldwide fisheries depletion, overcapitalization and ecosystem degradation. There is an urgent need for an international mechanism to promote the appropriate restructuring of fisheries subsidies in order to create a more sustainable industry. In recent years the leading international forum charged with providing such a mechanism has been the World Trade Organization (WTO). Fisheries Subsidies, Sustainable Development and the WTO explains why and how the reform of fisheries subsidies has become one of the most concrete and potentially successful international efforts to achieve global environmental, economic and developmental policy coherence. It describes the history and current status of the discussions at the WTO, drawing on UNEP's key documents and reflecting on the major issues. Accompanying the book is a CD-ROM containing full-text versions of the most important source material used in the publication. The book is aimed at a broad stakeholder audience, including policymakers in the fields of trade, fisheries, environmental economics and international environmental governance, as well as academics and others looking for an overview of the fisheries subsidies issue and an introduction to its technical components. Published with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Foreword by Achim Steiner
1. Fisheries Governance, Subsidies and Sustainable Development
2. Fisheries Subsidies and Their Resource Impacts
3. National Experiences with Subsidies, their Impacts and Reform Processes
4. Emergence of an International Issue: History of Fisheries Subsidies in the WTO
5. Four Key Issues at the WTO
6. Conclusion and Way Forward
Anja von Moltke works for the Economics and Trade Branch of the United Nations Environment Programme in Geneva, Switzerland. She is heading UNEP's programme on environmentally harmful subsidies, working closely with the WTO, government ministries and other stakeholders. She conducts research and policy analysis and provides technical assistance and capacity building through country projects, expert consultations and workshops.
"The valuable work reflected in this publication helps illuminate a clear path towards solutions to the fisheries subsidies challenge. It is time for the international community to harvest the lessons learnt and take decisive action to save not only the resource, but also marine ecosystems upon which millions of people depend for nutrition and employment."
– Achim Steiner, Executive Director, UNEP
"With so many fisheries dangerously close to exhaustion, subsidies that drive overfishing are a form of policy madness. This UNEP compendium offers an excellent overview of the problems – and potential solutions – surrounding an issue of global importance."
– James P. Leape, Director General, WWF International
"Wherever in the world you are, read this book if you want to know why your children, 40 years from now, might not be able to catch, trade and eat fish or even know most of the fish species we have enjoyed until today."
– Guillermo Valles Galmes, Chairman of the WTO Negotiating Group on Rules, 2005-2010
"Subsidies have an enormous impact on the sustainability of fishing and the fairness of international trade in fisheries products. The analysis and case studies in this outstanding and highly policy relevant book reflect the commendable engagement by UNEP on this important issue."
– Rashid Sumaila, Director of the Fisheries Centre and the Fisheries Economics Research Unit, University of British Columbia