Leading up to the G-20 Summit in Toronto next month, today Oceana and TED’s Mission Blue delivered a letter to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper calling on G-20 nations to stop the expansion of worldwide fishing subsidies, and to prioritize a strong outcome in the World Trade Organization (WTO) fisheries subsidies negotiations.
Oceana CEO Andy Sharpless was aboard the Mission Blue Voyage last month, and with his leadership, the letter was signed by 67 voyage participants, including Dr. Sylvia Earle, Chris Anderson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Glenn Close, Ed Norton and Chevy Chase. The letter is the first public effort stemming from the voyage.
Fishing subsidies promote overfishing by pushing fleets to fish longer, harder and farther away than would otherwise be economically feasible. The fleets are overcapacity – as much as 2.5 times what is needed to fish at sustainable levels.
Destructive fisheries subsidies are estimated to be at least $20 billion annually, an amount equal to approximately 25 percent of the value of the world catch.
Stay tuned for more on the ongoing fisheries subsidies negotiations.