Harmful subsidies talk intensifies

March 1, 2024 6:35 am

[File Photo]

The Pacific Island Region, including Fiji, is asking the large distant water fishing nations to keep their subsidies at current levels and to cut subsidies in the future.

Minister for Trade Manoa Kamikamica says for decades, the big subsidizers have pumped money into their fleets to over-exploit their waters.

Therefore, Kamikmaica says they should not be coming to the Pacific to overfish its waters.

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Among other demands, the Pacific is also proposing a clause that asks the biggest subsidizers to stop the subsidies that are only there to allow them to fish in distant waters.

Kamikamica says these are the only ways to meet the mandate that the world’s leaders laid out in the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The state of negotiations will be fair to say that the Pacific is fighting hard to get the WTO to listen to the Pacific. It is clear that in this meeting the big subsidizers are influencing a lot of the negotiations.

Kamikamica has reiterated that more and more countries are coming behind the proposal, and we must take the time now to listen and do what is necessary for the health of the oceans, as too much is at stake.

He adds that as custodians of the largest ocean and healthiest tuna stocks, nothing less than the economy, and livelihoods are at stake.

Therefore, he adds that any agreement struck now will decide the future of the world’s fisheries.

The Pacific urges WTO members to reaffirm their commitment to safeguard our global fisheries for the collective benefit of present and future generations.