WTO fisheries subsidies negotiations: implications for fisheries access arrangements and sustainable management
The paper considers the WTO negotiations on fisheries subsidies and the implications that envisaged disciplines will have on coastal developing countries. This is considered in relation to fisheries access agreements in the Central and Western Pacific where several least developed but resource rich island states such as Kiribati and Tuvalu are highly exposed to the risks associated with new WTO fisheries subsidies disciplines that do not consider their particular vulnerabilities. The paper considers some of the issues that coastal developing countries should incorporate into their emerging negotiating positions at the WTO. State-to-Sate fisheries access agreements which are often highly subsidised but where fishing vessel owners pay the equivalent of lump sum tax are paradoxically, the least distortionary and damaging to the environment. Strategies for managing the possible new disciplines are considered.
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