The WTO Must End Harmful Fisheries Subsidies by 2020 Deadline

The cost of inaction is too high

WTO
Getty Images

Members of the World Trade Organization are negotiating an agreement to reduce harmful fisheries subsidies. Reaching a deal this year would be one of the most important actions that global leaders can take to improve the ocean’s fish stocks—and the jobs, economies, and communities that depend on them.

Governments spend more than $22 billion on capacity-enhancing—or harmful—subsidies, such as money for fuel and vessel construction. These subsidies allow vessels to travel farther, stay at sea longer, and take in more fish than they could normally afford to.

More than 160 leading environmental organizations have signed on in support of ending these unsustainable funding practices. Now it is the WTO’s turn to act. Its member countries are in a unique position to reach a deal to end harmful subsidies right now. The organization has a mandate to regulate subsidies and can create legally binding rules to do so.

Five years ago, global leaders committed to negotiating and adopting a WTO agreement by the end of 2020 to “prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies that contribute to overcapacity and overfishing and eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.”

With the deadline fast approaching, it’s time for nations to reach a consensus and honor the commitment they made.

OUR WORK

National Homeownership Month

Article

37 Researchers Working to Transform Biomedical Science

Quick View
Article

Biomedical researchers are on the front lines of scientific innovation. From responding to global pandemics to pioneering lifesaving cancer treatments, these researchers push past scientific boundaries to solve pressing health challenges. For nearly 40 years, The Pew Charitable Trusts has supported more than 1,000 early-career biomedical scientists committed to this discovery.

Composite image of modern city network communication concept

Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

Sign up for our four-week email course on Broadband Basics

Quick View

How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

Pills illustration
Pills illustration

What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

Quick View

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.