Fisheries Subsidies: Wto Hong Kong Meeting Should Not Forget The Question

World Trade Organization (WTO) Sixth Ministerial Conference of December 13 kicked off in Hong Kong after the national media have focused. The past two days, to cut farm subsidies and agricultural tariffs, reducing industrial tariffs, open services and other issues become the focus of world attention. Of course, agriculture is the core of the Doha Round negotiations, and other areas to contain the negotiations. However, “sustainable development” concept of increasingly recognized around the world today, “Fisheries subsidies,” is also very important in the WTO Hong Kong meeting should not be ignored and forgotten.

UNEP Executive Director Klaus? Tuopufeier has specialized stressed: “The WTO Hong Kong Ministerial Conference should be reviewed and strengthened for the excess fishing capacity and over-fishing of fisheries subsidies in the negotiating mandate.” WWF global total Officer James? Lipp said, negotiators should be in this a few days and really push forward the process of fisheries subsidies negotiations.

Nearly 200 years, developed countries have been subsidizing the fishing industry, fisheries development and protection of this as an important national policy of food security. EU, U.S., Japan, Canada and South Korea are all on their huge subsidies to the fisheries sector. At present, the total amount of national subsidies to the fishing industry has reached 20 billion U.S. dollars per year, equivalent to the total catch value of 1 / 4, leading to excess fishing capacity, overfishing growing problem. United Nations Environment Programme issued a report, as countries with large fisheries subsidies, about 75% of global fisheries resources have been depleted or declining. More critical, because many important species such as cod, tuna, swordfish, etc. are subjected to destructive fishing in many areas of marine ecosystems have been caught in dangerous state of disorder and confusion.

For various historical reasons, the WTO’s predecessor??? General Agreement on Tariffs (GATT) carried out several rounds of trade negotiations has been to exclude the issue of fisheries subsidies. In November 2001 the WTO Doha Ministerial Conference, members finally realized that “fishing for some members of the economic importance of developing”, decided to fisheries subsidies included in the new round of multilateral trade negotiations. The following year, in Johannesburg, South Africa at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, countries recognized the importance of the “Cancel that contribute to illegal, irregular and excessive fishing practices harmful fisheries subsidies.”

However, under current WTO rules, in most cases, to rely on governments to provide some evidence of misconduct. Data shows that some government concealed its underreporting the amount of fisheries subsidies as high as 90%. Can be said that many of the existing rules on fisheries subsidies bad, actually do nothing.

Thus, while in New Zealand, Chile and the United States urged countries such as under the “Improving the WTO subsidies rules on fisheries subsidies, provides that” the agenda has entered a substantive aspect of the operation of the new rules have also entered a preliminary discussion stage, but is clearly “is not the time to open champagne.” If the meeting of these new rules will be clear and unambiguous set to ensure its enforceability, while fully aware of the special needs of developing countries, especially those fishing for a living, fragile island economy, then, “Hong Kong Conference “will undoubtedly sustainable development of fisheries in the world occupy an important page in the history. For the sustainable use of marine, is the people, and also the general trend.