The Expert Consultation on Identifying, Assessing and Reporting on Subsidies in the Fishing Industry met at FAO Headquarters for four days starting 3 December 2002. Fourteen experts, from as many countries, invited in their individual capacity, attended the Consultation. They elected Dr Trond Bjorndal as the Chair and Ms Sita Kuruvilla as vice-chair and adopted an agenda that included two main issues:(i) the review of a draft guide for identifying, assessing and reporting on fishery subsidies; and,(ii) the comparison of the magnitude and effects of subsidies in the fisheries sector.
The experts found that, with some few modifications, the draft guide constituted an excellent support for subsidy studies and recommended that it be used. To further expand the usefulness of the guide the experts recommended that FAO work on: (i) the long-term effects of subsidies,(ii) resource pricing; and,(iii) the effects of government inaction. They also adopted eight conventions for using the guide. These conventions are intended to facilitate the international comparisons of subsidy studies.
The experts considered it important that available methodologies be used to assess impacts flowing from actions taken by recipient of subsidies on environment, trade, economic growth and social conditions. The Consultation concluded that FAO should promote the development and use of appropriate models for the evaluation of impacts of subsidies through actual case studies.