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Fishing Subsidies: What Oceana Does

finley the fish at the U.S. capitolOceana’s campaign works to establish the international recognition and political commitment needed to produce new trade rules from the World Trade Organization that effectively control fisheries subsidies.

Oceana recognizes that the WTO presents the best opportunity to address fisheries subsidies on a global scale.

The campaign also works in Washington, DC to solidify support from the U.S. Trade Representative and U.S. Congress on fisheries subsidies and the WTO negotiations.

In November 2007, the WTO produced a first draft agreement on fisheries subsidies that addressed and surpassed, in some cases, all of Oceana’s conservation recommendations. The WTO negotiations were expected to be completed by the end of 2008 but are still ongoing because of reasons not related to fisheries subsidies.

Oceana continues to “protect” the draft agreement, which is still intact and remains the basis for the negotiations.

In the more than three years since the campaign began, Oceana’s campaign has done the following:

-Created a life-sized mascot called “Finley the Fish” to establish a recognizable brand and make the issue more accessible to lay audiences. Finley made appearances at the WTO in Geneva and on Capitol Hill and was a popular photo op with the key audiences.

- Conducted more than 500 meetings with WTO delegations. More than 175 meetings were conducted with U.S .Trade and Congressional offices.

- Held technical briefings in Geneva and Washington, DC featuring scientists, economists and other experts.

- Mobilized scientists for various advocacy activities. A letter was issued by 125 scientists from 27 countries to the WTO Director-General and country delegations urging the reduction of fisheries subsidies.

- Conducted advertising campaigns in Geneva, Ottawa and Washington, DC.

- Held media events and advocacy meetings featuring actor and Oceana board member Ted Danson in Geneva, Toronto and Washington, DC.

Learn more about the fisheries subsidies campaign’s past events.