Mercados y Comercio

No. 53 The WTO Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies and the role of FAO

Year of publication2023
AbstractThe WTO Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies, adopted at the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12) in June 2002, is the first WTO agreement to focus on the environment and the first legally binding multilateral agreement on marine sustainability. It regulates the provision of fisheries subsidies and recognizes that certain types of subsidies can have a negative impact on the sustainability of marine natural resources. Fisheries management is essential to ensure effective compliance with the rules set out in the WTO Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies, in particular the prohibition of subsidies to fisheries related to overfished stocks and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Critical to the sustainability of the sector and compliance with the WTO Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies is the national capacity to collect, manage and process data and information to assess and report on the status of fisheries and fish stocks. The combination of existing international instruments can be crucial to effectively address the problems of IUU fishing, given the complexity of global value chains. For the management and sustainability of stocks in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ), coordination between countries through various arrangements, such as Regional Fisheries Bodies (RFBs), is essential. This policy brief briefly discusses the importance of the WTO Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies and its three pillars, looks at the link between fisheries management and stock monitoring, and presents the role of FAO in relation to overfished stocks, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, and unregulated fishing in ABNJ.
Available inEnglish
Product typeJournal; magazine; bulletin
SeriesTrade Policy Briefs
ISSNISSN 2707-2290
Areas of workTrade Policy and Partnerships
Keywordsfishery management; fishery production; stock assessment; WTO trade agreements; sustainable development