Disparity between fishing subsidies and sustainable fisheries management aid shown in WTO report

Indonesian fishing vessels
Indonesian fishing vessels | Photo courtesy of Agence Française de Développement (AFD)
4 Min

A new report published by the World Trade Organization Secretariat shows governments spend 63 times more on fishery subsidies than they have on official development assistance (ODA) toward fisheries sectors in the world's least developed countries. 

The report, “Leveraging Global Partnerships to Implement the WTO Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies for a Sustainable and Food-Secure Future,” found that between 2010 and 2022, USD 6.2 billion (EUR 5.7 billion) was committed to support marine fisheries. Of that total, 71 percent comprised assistance directed at supporting the design and implementation of sustainable fisheries policies and practices in developing economies.

However, the report notes that annual ODA for fisheries is dwarfed by the estimated USD 22 billion (EUR 20.3 billion) spent globally on harmful fisheries subsidies a 63-fold difference.

This comes at a time of increasing pressure on wild fishery stocks. The 2024 State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA) report, published by the Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) – itself a leading provider of aid for sustainable fishing – found global marine fisheries face significant challenges, with the proportion of fish stocks at biologically sustainable levels dropping to 62.3 percent in 2021 from 90 percent in 1974.

The biggest donor project in value terms in 2022, as cited by the report, was a ...

SeafoodSource Premium

Become a Premium member to unlock the rest of this article.

Continue reading ›

Already a member? Log in ›


Want seafood news sent to your inbox?

You may unsubscribe from our mailing list at any time. Diversified Communications | 121 Free Street, Portland, ME 04101 | +1 207-842-5500