MALDIVES: fisheries subsidies, for fuel, a matter of survival

An opposition party (Dhivehi Qaumee Party or DQP) in the Maldives is pressing the government to quickly provide fishermen with 100 Million Ruffiya (USD 7.8 million) subsidies to the fisheries sector to help them purchase fuel. According to the article, this amount was already allocated by the governement in the 2011 budget.

Also according to the article the DQP argues that:

"...the industry has been going downhill and that the families of the fishermen are now living in hunger and poverty. The party said that the subsidies given to the fishermen to purchase fuel are given with the aim to lift of these burdens from them and to help them out."

This piece of news aroused my curiosity on the Maldives' fisheries industry.

In the 2010 Statistical Yearbook of the Maldives I found information about the number of fishermen active in the Maldives and made a few calculations.

The most recent data  concerned 2007. In that year there were 13,648 fishermen in the Maldives. So this means that a 100 million Ruffiya subsidy allocation to the fisheries industry would translate into a 7,327 Ruffiya (or 571 USD) subsidy per fishermen in the Maldives.

Here is the link to the article:

And here the link to the Statistical Yearbook of the Maldives:


USA: PETERSON INSTITUTE's recipes for the USA on WTO's Doha illness

There are a lot of ideas circulating on what the WTO Members should do on the current crisis that the WTO's Doha Round is going through.

Here is a link to a webpage from the Peterson Institute for International Economic with a policy brief titled "What Should the United States Do about Doha?"


Not a word on fisheries subsidies.

MALAYSIA: more on fuel subsidies

In March 2011 I wrote a post on Malaysia's subsidies to fuel used by fishermen.
In recent articles the Malaysian press has echoed the unhappiness of license holders of so called “C2 trawlers” about the removal of a super-subsidy given by the government.
These trawlers are offshore vessels of 70 GRT and above and operate beyond 30 nautical miles off the coast. Until 31 May 2011 these trawlers could buy diesel at the price Malaysian Ringgit or RM 1.25 (or 0.41USD). After that date they price they pay is RM 1.80 (or 0.59 USD).
According to the government, this is still a subsidised price.
As to how this super-subsidy worked one of the articles (1) mentions that:
“The government subsidises 25,000 to 28,000 litres of diesel equivalent to RM31,250 (10,271 USD) and RM35,000 (11,503 USD) for each vessel every month and all Zone C2 vessels could use up to an average of 14 million litres of diesel every month”

Here are links to press articles on this issue:

(1)    http://www.theborneopost.com/2011/06/08/trawler-operators-still-enjoying-subsidy-for-diesel/
(2)    http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/2011/05/19/trawler-operators-upset-over-subsidy-move/


WTO: Ideas on helping WTO Doha negotiations forward -> freeze and reduce fish subsidies by 10% the first year

In a previous post I included a quote from a article of a former Indian Ambassador to the WTO, where he set out his views on the possible ingredients (fish not on the plate!) for salvaging the Doha Round.

In the mean time other articles have been published in the voexeu.org website. Some authors writing on the WTO Doha Round have proposed  that "middle trading powers" should 

"Freeze all harmful fisheries subsidies and offer to reduce them by 10% in the first year provided a critical mass of members do the same;"  Richard Baldwin  and Simon J. Evenett © voxEU.org

I wonder which countries the authors have in mind when writing about "middle trading powers"?

This quote can be found here:


WTO: "US Demands may Kill WTO Agreement" (and so one on fisheries subsidies?)

I found a very interesting video with an interview of Timothy A. Wise, Research Director of the Global Development and Environment Institute (GDAE) at Tufts University.  

 The interview appears under the heading "US Demands may Kill WTO Agreement".

Here is the link to the website with the video:


WTO: "Slim chance of success for "Doha Lite" trade talks" (according to Reuters)

Here is the link to an article by Reuters with an analysis of the situation of the WTO's Doha Development Agenda Round. Not very optimistic I must say.

The article includes good insights on the discussions about the composition of a "Doha-lite" package: abolition, mainly by developed countries, of subsidies to the cotton industry, Duty-Free Quota Free access to markets for the poorest countries. These are important issues for many least developed and developing countries.

Not a word on fish subsidies in the article.