The WTO document with all the questions and answers can be found at the WTO's website (see "Trade Policy Review" under Trade Topics).
Here is one question from the EC:
(iv) Incentives and other government assistance
WTO Secretariat’s Report, page 76, para. 270
In addition to the data provided by the Government's and the Secretariat's reports, publicly available information indicates that Brazil launched in 2008 the "Mais Pesca e Aqüicultura" initiative with a view to promoting fish production in Brazil and setting explicit targets to be reached by 2011. Among the targets, the initiative identifies the increase of fish production by 40%, i.e. from 1 million tonnes in 2008 to 1.4 million tonnes in 2001. Concerning fisheries infrastructure the plan includes the constructions of up to 20 landing facilities for fishermen.
The EC notes that, among other subsidies, the following aid has been provided to the fisheries sector in the framework of the "Mais Pesca e Aqüicultura" initiative: i) a fuel subsidy programme amounting 18 million Reales and benefiting 2.230 vessels; ii) subsidies, including those provided by the Ministry of Transport, for the construction of fish landing terminals; and iii) subsidies for the purchase of 103 ice machines, 85 refrigerated trucks,
The EC also notes that a number of programmes ("linhas de crédito") such as the "FUNDO CONSTITUCIONAL DE FINANCIAMENTO DO NORTE – (FNO)" or the "FUNDO CONSTITUCIONAL DO NORDESTE – (AQÜIPESCA)" will be coordinated and will give the possibility to fishermen to obtain subsidies, inter alia, for the construction and modernisation of fishing vessels.
Further, the initiative seems to include the possibility for fishermen to make use of the subsidies of the "MODERAGRO" programme (CUSTEIO PECUÁRIO TRADICIONAL) covering, inter alia, aid in the form for: i) purchase of fuel, lubricants, ice, bait, and other operational costs; ii) nets, hooks, labour-costs, insurance, taxes, freight, and iii) maintenance and modernisation of vessels.
Information published by the Brazilian authorities on the "MODERAGRO" programme indicate that beneficiaries could receive up to 300.000 Reales aid to finance the above mentioned types of costs. Concerning canning and processing of fish products the aforementioned information mentions that funds from the "MODERAGRO" programme are also available for these activities. Could Brazil confirm the existence of such subsidies to its fisheries sector?
Unlike most of the countries currently with high fishing capabilities, which have started public investments and developed support programmes for the fishing sector since a long time ago, Brazil is a late-entrant in the international fishing market.
Brazil had the opportunity to draw lessons from the questionable public policies of today`s fishing powers in terms of overexploitation or even depletion of many of the world most important fish stocks. Such fishing support programmes have been criticized by specialized international organizations. In order to prevent the environmentally adverse results from those policies, the basic characteristic of all Brazilian programmes to support the fishing sector is a direct link to sustainability benchmarks.
First of all, regarding the programme “Mais Pesca e Aqüicultura”, we note that it is still not operational. So far it has only been publicly announced by the Brazilian government, and its timeframe refers to the period 2008-2011. We are at the disposal of the EC for further technical information once the programme is fully operational.
The programmes related to FNO, AQUIPESCA and MODERAGRO are not related to fish catching activities. They are aimed at enhancing the quality of the fish chain structure.