WTO Fisheries Subsidies Negotiation

The World Trade Organisation launched the negotiations on “fisheries subsidies” in the year 2001 during the Ministerial Conference at Doha.

Key Points

  • The negotiation was launched with an objective to improve and clarify the extant WTO guidelines on subsidies given in fisheries.
  • The scope of Fisheries Negotiation was further widened during the Hong Kong Ministerial Conference in 2005, wherein some forms of fishing subsidies which leads to over fishing were prohibited.
  • At the Ministerial Conference held at Buenos Aires in 2017, a Sustainable Development Goal with respect to Fisheries was adopted.
  • The Sustainable Development Goal 14.6 states that by 2020, certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing as well as eliminating Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
  • The goals also stated that introduction any new such fishery subsidy should also be avoided.
  • WTO had decided to complete the agreement by 2020 but now the agreement may be shifted to 2021.

India submits proposal for limiting WTO dispute panel role in fisheries

India has submitted a new proposal on the WTO’s on-going negotiations on eliminating fisheries subsidies which suggested that the role of the dispute settlement panel in the fisheries management must be restricted and a member must have its own governing power as a country on the issue. As per the proposal of India, the role of the panel should be limited to of review fisheries management determinations. India’s proposal puts out a criterion of exempting countries from subsidy reduction commitments on the basis of their national incomes (below $5,000 per annum for 3 consecutive years). This proposal of India has been retained by the chair of the commitment for further discussion.

World Trade Organisation (WTO)

WTO is an organization that regulates international trade between the countries. It was formed on January 1, 1995. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

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