Fisheries subsidies has become, overtime, one of those subjects on which a number of environmental NGO are "competing" when it comes to drawing the attention of the general public.
Over the last few days “Mission Blue” (Sylvia Earle Foundation) has teamed up with OCEANA to send a letter to G-20 leaders asking them to “halt overfishing subsidies”.
The key paragraph in the letter reads as follows:
"We urge G-20 leaders to pledge to not further expand fishing subsidy programs and give their highest priority to a strong outcome in the WTO fisheries subsidies negotiations."
Personally I was struck by this very candid, and I would add, audacious request by these NGOs to countries such as Brazil, India or China (all members if the G-20) which are in the process of expanding their fishing fleets, including by the provision of subsidies.
As regards WTO negotiations on fisheries subsidies these countries have also been very clear in rejecting strict rules that would limit their ability to provide subsidies to vast segments of their fishing fleets (small-scale or artisanal fisheries). If any doubt; please refer to my previous posts on the negotiating submissions tabled by these countries.
On the other I would expect that fishermen in some developed countries would be tempted to (immediately) underwrite such statement. Keeping the "status quo" in the level of subsidies, in times of budget cuts, could be seen a rather satisfactory situation, at least from the point of view of teh beneficiaries of the subsidies.
Here is the link to letter:
And here the links to Oceana and to Mission Blue pages where reference is made to this letter: