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A. Agenda and Timetable
B. List of Documents
C. List of Participants
D. Opening Statement by Mr Ichiro Nomura, Assistant Director-General, Fisheries Department
E. Prospectus

A. Agenda and Timetable

Tuesday 28 November; 09.30 - 12.30

(I. Nomura, Assistant Director General, Fisheries Department)





Tuesday 28 November; 14.00 - 17.30


Wednesday 29 November; 09.00 - 12.30



Group A: definition and categories of subsidies

Group B: effects of fishery subsidies on resources

i. present knowledge of the magnitude of effects
ii. measurement of impact
iii. likely magnitude of impact by category of subsidy
Group C: impact on trade
i. present knowledge of the magnitude of effects
ii. measurement of impact
iii. likely magnitude of impact by category of subsidy
Wednesday 29 November; 14.00 - 17.30

(end afternoon: reports on progress in plenary)

Thursday 30 November: 09.00 - 12.30

(end morning: reports on progress in plenary)

Thursday 30 November: 14.00 - 17.30

(end afternoon: reports on progress in plenary)

iv. Friday 1 December; 09.00 - 12.30


Friday 1 December; 14.00 - 17.30


B. List of Documents


Provisional Agenda


Subsidies and the Fisheries Sector; facilitating the international discussion

FI:EIRF/2000/Inf. 1

List of Documents

FI:EIRF/2000/Inf. 2

List of Participants

FI:EIRF/2000/Inf. 3

Subsidies for Fisheries: a review of concepts

FI:EIRF/2000/Inf. 4

Estimating fisheries subsidies and their impact on sustainability of fish resources: dealing with dynamics, risk and uncertainty

FI:EIRF/2000/Inf. 5

A Review of Published Estimates of Public Sector Subsidies to the Fishery Sector and Their Impact on Trade in Fish and Fish Products

FI:EIRF/2000/Inf. 6

Review of Methodologies Used to Assess Trade-Distorting Impact of Subsidies to the Fishery Sector

FI:EIRF/2000/Inf. 7


FI:EIRF/2000/Documents made available 1

Policy for Development Assistance in the Fisheries Sector of Sri Lanka
Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Maligawatta Secretariat, Sri Lanka
(Submitted by the Government of Sri Lanka)

FI:EIRF/2000/Documents made available 2

Tariff Problems in the Fishing Industry - Note for the Danish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries
(Submitted by the Government of Denmark)

FI:EIRF/2000/Documents made available 3

Subsidies to the Norwegian Fishing Industry - An Update
(Submitted by the Norwegian Government)

FI:EIRF/2000/Documents made available 4

WTO Committee of Trade and Environment - Reports of meetings and national submissions (February 1999 to October 2000)

FI:EIRF/2000/Documents made available 5

  • Management Costs in Fisheries and Their Recovery: Some Principles (by Rögnvaldur Hannesson)
  • Note on the costs of fisheries administration (by Stig Starheim/Jørn Krog)
  • The costs of general services in the fishing industry of Norway - 1998 (Provided by the Government of Norway)

FI:EIRF/2000/Documents made available 6

Government Financial Transfers to Fishing Industries in OECD Countries

FI:EIRF/2000/Documents made available 7

Study Into the Nature and Extent of Subsidies in the Fisheries Sector of APEC
Members Economies - CTI 07/99T Draft Report - End Module 4 Synthesis.
By PricewaterhouseCoopers (Fisheries Working Group - Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC))

FI:EIRF/2000/Documents made available 8

Fisheries Subsidies, Overfishing and Trade. By Gareth Porter
Environment and Trade 16 -UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme)

FI/EIRF/2000/Documents made available 9

Transition to Responsible Fisheries - Economic and Policy Implications

FI/EIRF/2000/Documents made available 10

Subsidies in World Fisheries - A Reexamination. By Matteo Milazzo
(World Bank Technical Paper)

FI/EIRF/2000/Documents made available 11

Overcapacity, Overcapitalisation and Subsidies in European Fisheries. Edited by
A. Hatcher and K. Robinson, Centre of the Economics and Management of Aquatic Resources - CEMARE - University of Portsmouth.

C. List of Participants

1. Chairman

University of Rhode Island
Kingston, RI 02881,USA
Tel. 1 401 874 4586
Fax: 1 401 782 4766

2. Experts

Centro Inter-Americano para el
Desarrollo de Ecosistemas
Casilla 27016, Santiago, CHILE
Tel. 562-2024504
Fax: 562-2021142

HATCHER, Aaron Charles Mr.
19 North Road, Petersfield
Hampshire GU32 2AX, UK
Tel. 44 1730 233 568
Fax: 44 23 9284 4037

KREIER, Jesse Mr.
Counsellor and Chief Legal Officer
Rules Division, WTO Secretariat
154 Rue de Lausanne, 1211 Geneva 21
Tel: (41-22) 739-5482
Fax: (41-22) 739-5620

KURONUMA, Yoshihiro Mr.
Associate Professor
School of Social Information Studies
Otsuma Women’s University
2-7-1 Karakida, Tama-shi,
Tokyo, 206-8540, JAPAN

MESKI, Driss Mr.
Directorate of Cooperation
and Legal Affaires
Ministry of Fisheries
B. P 476, Agdal, Rabat,
Tel. 212-7 688198
Fax. 212-7 688194

SCHRANK, William E. Mr.
Department of Economics
Memorial University, St. John's,
Newfoundland, CANADA A1C 5S7
Tel. 709-576-1957
Fax: 709-738-1305

SEIJO, Juan Carlos Mr.
Universidad Marista de Mérida
Calle 57 No. 336 entre 44 y 46
Villas la Hacienda
Mérida, 97119, Yucatán, MEXICO
Tel. 52-99 441 956

SHARP, Basil Milson H. Mr.
Dept. of Economics
University of Auckland
PB 92019 Auckland
Tel. 64-9 373 75 99
Fax: 64-9 373 74 27

TAPSCOTT, Christopher P. G. Mr.
Faculty of Economic and Management
Sciences, University of Western Cape
6 Ross Rd, Rondendbosch 7700
Cape Town

VASSDAL, Terje Mr.
University of Tromsø
N-9037 Tromsø
Tel. 47-77 64 55 58
Fax: 47-77 64 60 20

ZHANG, Xiang-Guo Mr.
College of Economics and Trade
Shanghai Fisheries University
334 Jun Gong Road
Shanghai, 200090, CHINA
Tel. 86-21 65 71 03 07
Fax: 86-21 65684287

FAO Secretariat

Technical Secretary
Chief, Development Planning Service
Fishery Policy and Planning Division

GUMY, Angel
Senior Fishery Planning Officer
Development Planning Service
Fishery Policy and Planning Division

BRENNAN, Patricia
Development Planning Service
Fishery Policy and Planning Division

MERCADO, Elizabeth
Development Planning Service
Fishery Policy and Planning Division

D. Opening Statement by Mr Ichiro Nomura, Assistant Director-General, Fisheries Department

Welcome to Rome, it is a pleasure to see you here. Thank you for accepting our invitation to join the FAO Expert Consultation on Economic Incentives and Responsible Fisheries.

I should like, first of all, to explain why FAO is concerned about Economic Incentives and Responsible Fisheries. The concept and implementation of responsible fishing is a challenge which the international community unanimously and unequivocally urges all concerned with fishing, including FAO, to tackle. Responsible fishing has been addressed, as you know, from several perspectives. Most of the discussions have, however, been done from an institutionalizational point of view, such as the need for strengthened national and international management and enforcement of fishing activities.

But, since fishing is inherently an economic activity, we all know that without addressing an economic feature of fisheries, the goal of responsible fisheries could not be attained in a real world. Putting this theme into a policy-related discussion will make it necessary for us to analyse, in a coherent and systematic way, economic incentives for fishing and their impacts on environment, in this case, the sustainability of fishery resources, and on other economic activities including trade. While the analysis of this subject has been done in the past by individual specialists and other international bodies, it has not been done systematically and collectively by FAO, which is best suited to addressing global fisheries issues. This is exactly why FAO is concerned about the issue and why FAO was requested to address it.

Why have you been called to Rome?

The political debate about economic incentives - or subsidies - is close to stalling. Many of those observing fisheries think that the economic incentive structure is not correct or optimal and is sometimes modified by the direct intervention of the State. They believe that these interventions contribute to excess fishing capacity, thereby threatening fishery resources; it is also felt that such interventions have the effect of distorting trade.

Others argue that Government intervention, in this case fishery subsidies, constitute only a part of the many factors which would contribute to unsustainability of the fishery and trade distortion. While some subsidies should be reduced or eliminated, there are many subsidies which are indispensable for the economic and social integrity of fishing communities. What is more important, they argue, is responsible management for fishery operations.

Also, there is no consensus on what is a subsidy and what is not a subsidy. And there is little empirical knowledge about the exact effects of the different kinds of subsidies provided to the sector. But there seems to be consensus that more needs to be known for the political debate to move forward.

To progress, the political debate needs to draw on the knowledge and skills of the academic community.

Fishery policy-makers want to know from you:

- what is a useful and workable definition of subsidies?

- what do we, in effect, know about the trade distorting impact, if any, of various categories of subsidies and how to learn more in a manner that is practical and affordable?

- what do we know, in effect, about the impact, if any, of subsidies on living aquatic resources and how to learn more in a manner that is practical and affordable?

These questions need answers of practical significance and use. It is our hope that you will provide them.

To arrive at pragmatic answers you have to adopt a spirit of compromise. Feasible, acceptable and realistic answers of practical use will not permit us to employ the best scientific procedure in all instances. But your compensation for not sticking only to scientific rigour will be your contribution to the solution of an issue that is of great importance to many people all over the world.

It is my firm hope that you will succeed, and that on Friday afternoon you will be united in your approval of the report of the Expert Consultation. A pragmatic report, unanimously endorsed by all 12 of you will be a very strong signal to the world fisheries community.

Your recommendations will be submitted to the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) which will meet in February next year. COFI will be asked to suggest what will be the role of the FAO Fisheries Department in future work related to subsidies in fisheries.

Again thank you for taking time to share your expertise with us.

I wish you every success.

E. Prospectus


1. In a context of growing international debate, FAO members are examining the role of subsidies or economic incentives in relation to international trade, environment and sustainable development issues. The role of fishery subsidies is receiving increasing attention both in governments and by civil society due to likely negative impacts of some subsidies on trade of fish and fish products and on the sustainability of living aquatic resources. Subsidies in fisheries could be one of the contributing factors to overinvestment in fisheries as well as a cause for distortion in international fish trade. There is a strong interest among member countries to better understand whether and how subsidies affect fisheries sustainability and fish trade.

2. FAO has been called upon both by the FAO Sub-Committee on Fish Trade[10] and by the International Plan of Action for the Management of Fishing Capacity (IPOA)[11] to compile and disseminate information on fishery subsidies at the global level, as a basis for further analysis aimed at understanding their role in relation to trade of fish and fish products and fishery resource sustainability.

3. In order that the debate on subsidies in fisheries progresses it is important to assess with some accuracy the real impacts of fishery subsidies. However, before that can be done it would be useful if a consensus could be developed about the concept of fishery subsidies and about which economic tools, methods, policies should be classified as such. Therefore, prior to assessing the economical and social implications of fishery subsidies, there is a need to conduct a technical review of subsidy concepts and modalities in fisheries.

4. In order to fulfil the mandate given by FAO member countries the Fisheries Department developed a workplan that takes full advantage of the available inter-disciplinary technical resources inside the Fisheries Department and includes cooperation with other relevant International Governmental Organisations (IGOs).

5. A review of fishery subsidies is being undertaken. It includes:

i. A thorough and exhaustive review of the concepts that have been used to define fishery subsidies. The review will provide a conceptual platform for a global discussion among public policy makers aimed at achieving a shared understanding of the various public economic tools/methods/policies known as fishery subsidies.

ii. A review of the published assessments of public sector subsidies to the fishery sector and of their impact on sustainability of fishery resources.

iii. A review of the published assessments of public sector subsidies to the fishery sector and of their impact on trade of fish and fish products.

6. An FAO Expert Consultation on Economic Incentives and Responsible Fisheries will be held in Rome (at FAO Headquarters) from 28 November to 1 December 2000. The experts will examine the reviews identified above and all other relevant information.


7. The principal objective of the expert consultation is to assess the state of knowledge of fishery subsidies and their likely impact on trade and resource sustainability.


8. The Expert Consultation will aim to enable the participants:


9. A series of papers reflecting the scope of the consultations has been commissioned by FAO and will be provided to participants of the Experts Consultation. They will be available to any interested reader on the Internet.


10. The principal output expected from the expert consultation is a report containing findings, conclusions and recommendations for consideration by to the 24th Session of the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI) to be held in Rome on 26 February to 1 March 2000.


11. Participants in the Expert Consultation (approx. 12) will attend in their personal capacities. The invitations will be extended to individuals recognised as competent in the related disciplines. The organiser will strive to ensure an appropriate inter-disciplinary balance. Representation will be sought from the different regions of the world in order to make available different trends of thought, approaches and practical experience, of subsidies to the fishery sector.

12. The venue will be FAO Headquarters, Rome Italy.


13. The Technical Secretary of the expert consultation is Mr Ulf Wijkstrom, Chief, Fishery Development Planning Service. He may be contacted in Rome, as follows:

Room F414, FAO Fisheries Department
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00100 Rome, Italy
e-mail: Ulf.
Tel: +39 06 57052156
FAX: +39 06 57056500

[10] “In the discussion of agenda item 5 on the basis of document COFI:FT/VI/98/4, the Sub-Committee noted that the issue of subsidies are discussed in various fora, and that FAO has a role to play in compiling and disseminating information on subsidies at a global level. Many delegations stressed that the use of subsidies could aggravate over-exploitation of resources and distort trade, while other delegations underlined that in some cases subsidies may be necessary, for example, to secure employment and food security. One delegation stressed that there was no direct link between the question of overcapacity and distortion of trade in the fisheries sector.”(paragraph 17, -Report of the Sixth Session of the COFI’s Sub-Committee on Fish Trade)
“Some delegations stated that FAO should carry out further work on collecting information on subsidies. Other delegations suggested that FAO should undertake further work on this issue beyond the compilation of information. The Committee was informed that the OECD Committee on Fisheries is also undertaking work on financial transfers to fisheries” (paragraph 49 - Report of the 23rd Session of the Committee on Fisheries).
[11] “When developing their national plans for the management of fishing capacity, States should assess the possible impact of all factors, including subsidies, contributing to overcapacity on the sustainable management of their fisheries, distinguishing between factors, including subsidies, which contribute to overcapacity and unsustainability and those which produce a positive effect or are neutral”. (paragraph 25 - International Plan of Action for the Management of Fishing Capacity).
“States should reduce and progressively eliminate all factors, including subsidies and economic incentives and other factors which contribute, directly or indirectly, to the build-up of excessive fishing capacity thereby undermining the sustainability of marine living resources, giving due regard to the needs of artisanal fisheries”. (paragraph 26 - International Plan of Action for the Management of Fishing Capacity).
“FAO will, as and to the extent directed by its Conference, collect all relevant information and data which might serve as a basis for further analysis aimed at identifying factors contributing to overcapacity such as, inter alia, lack of input and output control, unsustainable fishery management methods and subsidies which contribute to overcapacity”. (paragraph 45 - International Plan of Action for the Management of Fishing Capacity)

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