GLOBEFISH - Information and Analysis on World Fish Trade

Fisheries Trade and 2018 WTO Public Forum

03/10/2018 - 03/10/2018

During the 2018 WTO Public Forum, FAO will organize a Working Session

“FAO Instruments supporting the Sustainability of
Traded Fish and Fisheries Products”

A variety of instruments have been established within the framework of the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, assisting fishers, industry, and governments in the area of management, operations, aquaculture development, coastal area management and post-harvest and trade.

Among FAO instruments, the set of International Plan of Actions (IPOA) covers a wide area of fish-related issues like sharks (IPOA-sharks), fishing capacity (IPOA-capacity), seabirds (IPOA-seabirds) and IUU fishing (IPOA-IUU).

The importance of small-scale fishers and developing countries at a global level in producing and supplying fish and fishery products put them at the forefront in facing specific trade measures. In this regard, the FAO Voluntary Guidelines for Small-Scale Fisheries (SSF) focuses on integrated and participatory approaches for small-scale fishers to reduce any associated barriers.

In order to allow more transparency and better traceability throughout the value chain and to ensure that only legal fish and fishery products are allowed to be unloaded at ports, FAO created a set of guidelines for the implementation of catch documentation schemes (CDSs). This goes hand-in-hand with promoting the adoption of the FAO Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (PSMA).

At the consumer level, increasing awareness is driving demand for traceability systems and certification schemes intended to guarantee the sustainability and quality of a growing array of fish and fishery products. In order to level the playing field and provide clarity to the market, FAO supported the development of a common benchmark tool for fishery certification schemes.

The continuing challenge of achieving sustainable and responsibly managed marine fisheries today and for future generations, while maintaining the sector’s contribution to income, employment, food and nutrition for millions of people, makes imperative well-functioning and transparent multi-stakeholder governance structures.

During this Fisheries Working Session, a team of high-level panelists will address the importance of sustainable fisheries in international trade and how the existing FAO fish framework could contribute to support a trading system that is sustainable, transparent, predictable and governed by the rule of law, creating the basic conditions for inclusive participation in international trade.


Ms. Ratana Chuenpagdee, Project Director, Too Big to Ignore – Global Partnership for Small-Scale Fisheries Research (TBTI)

Mr. Marcio Castro de Souza, Senior Fishery Officer (Trade) at the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, FAO

Ms. Andréa Durighello, West Africa Regional Coordinator of the Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI)


Mr. Ahmad Mukhtar, Economist at the Liaison Office in Geneva, FAO

The Working Session will also serve as a forum for the exchange of views through interactive discussion amongst participating government officials, researchers, academics, international experts, NGOs, fisheries operators, and industry representatives.

Covering these issues will provide opportunities for discussions on how international instruments and initiatives can contribute to sustainable trade in fish and fishery products, within the overall framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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More information can be found at:

Documents - Pannelist Presentations 

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