WTO Negotiations on Fisheries Subsidies: Implications for Pacific Islands
The overarching objective of this regional workshop organised by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the Pew Charitable Trusts is to support Pacific Island WTO members as they seek to successfully negotiate new rules to discipline harmful fisheries subsidies at the World Trade Organization (WTO). Specifically, the workshop will bring together policy makers from across the region and experts from various backgrounds for an in-depth discussion of WTO fisheries subsidies negotiations. In particular, the workshop is designed to help Pacific Islands’ government representatives to answer the following three fundamental questions:
- What is the reality of fisheries and relevant subsidy policies at the global level, as well as in Pacific Islands?
- How could WTO rules on fisheries subsidies impact on subsidy policies and fisheries in the Pacific and what are the potential implications for Pacific Islands?
- How best can a WTO agreement be designed to reflect the interests of Pacific Islands and help support sustainable development in the region?
The workshop will address these questions by providing delegations with the input of experts and presenting new pieces of research, including a draft case study on the southern longline tuna fishery in the Western and Central Pacific. The event will also provide government officials with an opportunity to discuss key questions in WTO negotiations on fisheries subsidies in a regional and non-negotiating setting.
Wednesday 24 July
14:00 – 14:15 Opening and welcome remarks
14:15 – 15:00 Session 1 – The current landscape of marine fisheries and fisheries subsidies around the world
This session will explore the economic reality of fisheries subsidies globally, their impact on fish stocks and their implications from a sustainable development perspective. It will also touch upon fisheries subsidies in Pacific Islands.
Daniel Skerritt, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, University of British Columbia
15:00 – 16:15 Session 2 – WTO negotiations on fisheries subsidies: What’s on the table and what are the key questions for Pacific Islands?
This session will provide participants with an overview of the current state of play in WTO negotiations on fisheries subsidies, including by looking at the various approaches and options on the table, as well as some of the key questions and implications for Pacific Islands.
Merewalesi Falemaka, Permanent Representative, Delegation of the Pacific Islands Forum to the World Trade Organization
Alex Kerangpuna, Trade Policy Officer, Delegation of the Pacific Islands Forum to the World Trade Organization
Noah Patrick Kouback, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Vanuatu to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva
Vueti May, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Fiji to the
United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva
Margaret Young, Associate Professor, Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne
16:15 – 16:30 Coffee break
16.30 – 18 :00 Session 3 – Marine fisheries in the Pacific Islands: Overview and challenges
This session will provide an overview of marine fisheries in the Pacific Islands and examine the key policy issues for the region in the context of WTO negotiations on fisheries subsidies – including with regards to (1) illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, (2) overfished stocks and (3) overfishing and overcapacity.
Simon Nicol, Senior Fishery Officer, FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
Vivian Fernandes, Compliance Policy Adviser, Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency
Lara Manarangi-Trott, Compliance Manager, Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission
19:30 – 21:00 Dinner
Thursday 25 July
09:00 – 10:45 Session 4 – Exploring the impact of WTO rules on fisheries subsidies: The case of the southern longline tuna fishery in the Western and Central Pacific
This session will present the draft of a case study on the potential impacts of possible new WTO rules on fisheries subsidies in the southern longline tuna fishery in the Western and Central Pacific. It will give the opportunity to participants to provide their feedback on the study and its preliminary results.
Sevaly Sen, Director, Oceanomics P/L
10:45 – 11:00 Coffee break
11:00 – 11:45 Session 5 – Modelling the potential implications of WTO rules on fisheries subsidies
This session will present a bioeconomic model developed by Professor Chris Costello and his team at the University of California in Santa Barbara for assessing the impacts of various options for potential WTO rules on fisheries subsidies.
Reyna Gilbert, Senior Associate, Harmful Fisheries Subsidies Project, The Pew Charitable Trusts
11:45 – 13:00 Session 6 – Fisheries subsidies and sustainable development in Pacific Islands: Views from industry and academia
This session will explore the links between fisheries subsidies and sustainable development through the perspectives of experts from the industry and the academic sphere.
Joeli Veitayaki, Associate Professor, School of Marine Studies, University of the South Pacific
John Maefiti, Executive Officer, Pacific Islands Tuna Industry Association
13:00 – 14:30 Lunch break
14:30 – 15:45 Session 7 – Designing an agreement that supports the sustainability of fisheries and promotes sustainable development in Pacific Islands
This session will provide an opportunity for participants to assess the various approaches and options on the table in WTO negotiations on fisheries subsidies and to assess their implications for Pacific Islands.
Discussion in three breakout groups on (1) IUU fishing, (2) overfished stocks, and (3) overfishing and overcapacity. Each group will consider the various approaches on the table in WTO negotiations on each issue, their advantages and disadvantages, the potential challenges for their implementation and how those challenges could be met.
15:45 – 16:00 Coffee break
16:00 – 16:45 Reports from breakout groups to the plenary and open discussion
16:45 – 17:00 Closing
July 24-25, 2019 | Novotel Nadi Hotel | Nadi, Fiji
Please email Eleonora Bonaccorsi to register for the event.