Healthy Oceans. Healthy Communities.

WTO Members Reach Deal On Sustainable Fishing

July 18, 2022

After two decades of discussion, World Trade Organization (WTO) members have reached a fisheries subsides deal at the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) in Geneva.

On June 17, WTO members agreed to a unprecedented package of trade outcomes – including an agreement on fisheries subsidies, reached after 21 years of talks and the first WTO binding agreement of its kind. The fisheries subsidies deal prohibits all subsidies to vessels committing Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, fishing on overfished stocked and fishing on unregulated high seas. The deal also outlines measures to enhance transparency and hold governments accountable for subsidies provided to the fishing industry at a global level.

What’s Next?

WTO members will continue talks on subsidies that go towards building and operating fleets that have the capacity to conduct unsustainable fisheries operations, with the intention to recommend limits to governments at the WTO’s 13th Ministerial Conference.

The Stop Funding Overfishing campaign began in 2019 with the support of around 60 non-profits. It has since grown to include 180 organizations worldwide.