WTO: fisheries subsidies and Hollywood under the same roof

Readers of my blog will have noticed that a number of NGOs are in close competition as regards the visibility that fisheries subsidies negotations can give to their action in ocean's related issues.

This time it was OCEANA the one that stole the show, literally !!

According to a press release by OCEANA, relayed by some media, Hollywood actor Ted Danson, visited Geneva on 29 October 2009 and met diplomats who are involved in the ongoing negotiations on fisheries subsidies.

I was struck by one of the comments that Mr Danson made while being interviewed in Geneva.

"You are subsidizing the boats to do exactly the wrong thing," Danson said at the WTO's Geneva headquarters. "One of the fastest ways to deal with this problem, is to take boats off the water. If you cut subsidies, you are going to cut their ability to do the wrong thing."

So, you could interprete Mr Danson's statement, in particular "One of the fastest ways to deal with this problem [of overfishing], is to take boats off the water" as meaning that the best thing is to stop fishing altogether.

The other interpretation, perhaps closer to Mr Danson's true intentions is that you can give subsidies to fishermen to take boats off the water. I am sure Mr Danson would agree exempting subsidies for the scrapping of fishing vessels.

When looking into Mr Danson's filmography I found that he played in the movie "Saving Private Ryian". Well we could invite him to play in the movie "Saving fisheries subsidies negotia tions". Though in this latter movie the enemy to be defeated is not the German army but a very obscure beast called "anti-dumping negotiations" which is also active in the "Rules" battlefield. Mr Danson could advise embattled negotiators that "zeroing" on the beast, so as to kill it quickly, could be a decisive move in saving fisheries subsidies negotiations.

Here is the link to the press release by OCEANA and the article by the Associated Press with the interview to Mr Danson.

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