Options for Improving the Transparency of Fisheries Subsidies

Research
Date period
11 December 2017

Under a specific target in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, governments have given themselves a deadline of 2020 for the prohibition of certain subsidies that contribute to overcapacity and overfishing and eliminating subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. By expanding subsidy notification requirements of members to include fishery-specific data, a WTO agreement has the potential to improve our understanding of the impact of subsidies on fish stocks, an important step in conservation efforts. Based on a review of existing subsidy obligations and tabled negotiating proposals, the objectives of this paper are to identify the common elements of additional fisheries-related information proposed for new notification disciplines and discuss the feasibility of requiring all WTO members to provide this information; and to identify and briefly discuss a range of options through which WTO members could establish incentives to notify this information.