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Fishing Subsidies: Overview

More than a billion people in the world depend on fish as a key source of protein.

Fishing activities support coastal communities and hundreds of millions of people. Yet nearly all of the world’s fish populations are being rapidly depleted to unrecoverable levels by overfishing.

Still, many governments continue to give their fleets large subsidies that allow them to fish longer, harder and farther away than would be otherwise possible. The impact of these subsidies is so great that eliminating them is the single greatest action that can be taken to protect the world’s oceans.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the 153-country entity based in Geneva, Switzerland that sets the rules for international trade.

Since 2001, it has been engaged in a dedicated negotiation on fishing subsidies as part of its Doha trade round. 

Oceana’s campaign works to establish the international recognition and political commitment needed to produce new trade rules from the WTO that effectively control fisheries subsidies.

Looking for information on European fishing subsidies? Please click here to visit our EU page.