In one of these questions, namely the second one, the Chair asks whether:
“For developing Members other than LDCs, is it appropriate and consistent with the mandate that S&D exceptions be broadest and subject to the fewest conditions for subsidies to the smallest-scale, closest to shore, and least commercial fishing operations, with exceptions becoming progressively narrower and subject to more conditions as the subsidized operations become larger-scale, further from shore, and more commercial?”
The Chair of the negotiating group, in his first draft text (WTO document TN/RL/W/213 of 23 November 2007), did already provide an answer to this question. Actually the draft agreement, taking as basis different submissions (proposals) from WTO Members, contains in Article III a number of exceptions to subsidy prohibitions for developing countries. This Article also includes a “definition” of artisanal or small-scale fisheries.
As mentioned in the title of the post, trying to find a definition of “small scale fisheries” that would satisfy everybody seems an unrealisable dream. In addition to being an unrealisable dream the quest for such a unique definition can be become a very contentious issue, especially if the possibility of giving subsidies to the fishing industry depends on such definition.
Readers will find hereunder a short bibliography on the subject of defining artisanal or small-scale fisheries:
[Berkes and Etc2002]BERKES, F. AND ETC 2002. Managing Small-Scale Fisheries: Alternative Directions and Methods. International Development Research Centre, Canada.
[Charles1989]CHARLES, A. T. 1989. Small-scale fisheries in North America: research perspectives. In La Recherche face à la pêche artisanale, Symp. Int. ORSTOM-IFREMER, Montpellier, France, pp. 3–7.
[Hauck2008]HAUCK, M. 2008. Rethinking small-scale fisheries compliance. Marine Policy 32:635–642.
[Pitcher2001]PITCHER, T. 2001. Rapfish: a rapid appraisal technique to evaluate the sustainability status of fisheries. Fisheries Research 49:255–270.
[Salas et al.2007]SALAS, S., CHUENPAGDEE, R., SEIJO, J. C., AND CHARLES, A. 2007. Challenges in the assessment and management of small-scale fisheries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Fisheries Research 87:5–16.
[Schorr2005]SCHORR, D. 2005. Artisanal fishing: Promoting poverty reduction and community development through new WTO rules on fisheries subsidies. Technical report, UNEP.
[Schorr2009]SCHORR, D. 2009. The WTO fishery subsidies negotiations: Update and introductory briefing for new delegates (fisheries subsidies and the WTO: key issues).
[Schumann and Macinko2007]SCHUMANN, S. AND MACINKO, S. 2007. Subsistence in coastal fisheries policy: What’s in a word? Marine Policy 31:706–718.
[Secretariat2005]SECRETARIAT, W. T. O. 2005. Definitions related to artisanal, small-scale and subsistence fishing (TN/RL/W/197 of 24/11/05).
[Sumaila et al.2001]SUMAILA, U. R., LIU, Y., AND TYEDMERS, P. 2001. Small versus large-scale fishing operations in the North Atlantic. Fisheries Centre Research Reports 9:28.
[Therkildsen2007]THERKILDSEN, N. 2007. Small- versus large-scale fishing operations in New England, USA. Fisheries Research 83:285–296.