Fish swim around a fishing net on the ocean floor.
Policy Analysis

In Focus: A Draft WTO Agreement to Curb Harmful Fisheries Subsidies

April 7, 2022

This June, members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) have the opportunity to establish a historic treaty to curb harmful fisheries subsidies. Anticipated new rules would help protect both our ocean and the countless communities around the globe who depend on marine resources for jobs, food security, and income.
The draft agreement tabled in November 2021 has been more than 20 years in the making. If it is enacted, countries around the world could work together to ban subsidies to illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and restrict subsidies for stocks that are already overfished and that contribute to overfishing more broadly. These negotiations are expected to conclude at the WTO’s Twelfth Ministerial Conference, which is scheduled to take place June 12–15 in Geneva. 
But what agreement exactly are we talking about? Ahead of what could be a landmark achievement for sustainable development and the WTO, IISD expert Alice Tipping breaks down what the proposed rules look like and explains how the draft agreement attempts to strike the right balance between different priorities and considerations. Watch the video below, available in English, French, and Spanish, to find out more!