Globalization: Effects on Fisheries Resources


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Unlocking potential with the best learning and research solutions. Home Academic Life science Ecology and conservation. Add to cart Add to wishlist Other available formats: Hardback , eBook Looking for an inspection copy? This title is not currently available on inspection. Provides case studies of the impacts of globalization, in all of its dimensions social, economic, political, ideational, environmental on fisheries Discusses advancements and benefits that are associated with globalization and fisheries resources and the controversies surrounding them Truly interdisciplinary approach to the topic, with authors who are biologists, sociologists, ecologists, political scientists, anthropologists and legal scholars.

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Conkright M, Gregg W. In other words, countries can now consume fish at a level that exceeds the productivity of their domestic water, i. Moreover, we combined the estimated ex-vessel prices with a geo-referenced marine fisheries catch database Watson et al. Both food and industrial i. Species-specific trophic levels, usually derived from diet composition, i.

How do you rate this item? Reviews must contain at least 12 words about the product. Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service. Book summary views reflect the number of visits to the book and chapter landing pages. This data will be updated every 24 hours. Effects on Fisheries Resources. Get access Buy the print book.

Check if you have access via personal or institutional login. Log in Register Recommend to librarian. Cambridge University Press Online publication date: August Print publication year: Export citation Recommend to librarian Recommend this book. Edited by William W. The analyses in Chapter 3 demonstrate the extent of the global seafood network with an overall flow of seafood from the waters off the coasts of developing countries and in the high seas to the markets of the developed countries.

Despite the approaching limits to the growth and the need for restoration and rebuilding of fisheries resources Worm et al. I argue that this lack of global response to be due to the aforementioned geographical expansion of marine fisheries and globalization of the seafood market. These two global trends jointly have had the effect of shielding the consumers of the developed countries from the impact of diminishing global percapita supply, thereby removing the impetus for international regulation of marine fisheries. The final two analysis chapters Chapters 5 and 6 present tools for enhancing our current understanding of the states of world fisheries and their values and economic contributions as means to overcoming the status quo and encouraging public and policy makers to undertake meaningful political actions.

The database described in Sumaila et al. A database of this type, as rightly noted in Sumaila et al. In Chapter 6, I re-examine basic catch data. However, it is now recognized that the reported data are incomplete and often underestimate not only actual catches, particularly those caught by informal sectors of fisheries and by illegal activities, but fail to include other fisheries-related removals of stock biomass such as discarding at sea see contributions in Zeller and Pauly ; Booth and Zeller ; Rossing et al.

To evaluate the full impact of fishing on marine ecosystems, Pauly outlines rationale and method for reconstruction fisheries-related biomass removals, which includes the use of grey literature and anecdotes, as well as the incorporation of non-fisheries statistics as indicators of trends in marine fisheries.

Japan represents an interesting case study for catch reconstruction, as it The reconstructed catches and removals, combined with the updated ex-vessel price estimates, will allow better valuation of the marine fisheries sectors, including their contribution to national and global economies e. As means for improving our understanding of the status of marine fisheries, two approaches for enhancing fisheries statistics, i.

It is my hope that as the picture of fisheries and the need for improved management becomes clearer, the public support for international conservation initiatives will become stronger. This applies particularly to modern industrial fisheries, here defined as fisheries using craft powered by fossil fuel, which began in about , when the first British steam trawlers were deployed.

These quickly depleted the coastal population of flatfish and other bottom fish they were targeting, and they had to move offshore, gradually expanding into the entire northeastern Atlantic Pauly et al. A similar development was mirrored off New England, and along the coast of Japan, where local fish populations, already much reduced by operation conducted off sail-powered vessels e. The aftermath of the First and Second World War saw both a recovery of these stocks, and an increase in the sophistication of industrial vessels; which were equipped with diesel engine and increasingly sophisticated eco-locating equipment, and with refrigeration, enabling longer and longer trips.

In the late s, global catches ceased to increase and peaked at 90 million t when account is taken of systematic over reporting of catches by China Watson and Pauly This decrease occurred, essentially, because the rate at which new fish stocks for example of deep sea fish; Morato et al.

Moreover, the number of new stocks has been decreasing linearly over time Froese et al. This can be shown, e. However, the global impact of fishing on the ecosystem, which includes species across the food chain from herbivores to top predators, cannot be fully assessed by the study of single-species catches. A more appropriate way of quantifying the expansion of and limits to fisheries is using the primary production required PPR to sustain catches — a metric of the ecological footprint of fishing.

As defined by Pauly and Christensen Pauly and Christensen , PPR allows direct comparison of the primary production required to generate a catch of a given group of species in a given time period here: Material and methods The analysis, which covers the period from to , defines fisheries exploitation based on the primary production that is required to generate the catches of marine fisheries. We applied a 9: Species-specific trophic levels, usually derived from diet composition, i.

Annual catch data were taken from the spatially disaggregated global catch database of the Sea Around Us project Watson et al. This online database www. Landing data were adjusted to account for discarded bycatch on the global estimates Zeller and Pauly However no adjustment was made to account for regional or local variations in discards and other unreported catches. Primary production estimates were derived using the model described by Platt and Sathyendranath which computes depth-integrated primary production based on chlorophyll pigment concentration based on SeaWiFS www.

The estimates presented here pertain to , which, for the purpose of our analysis, was assumed to be representative of the entire period.

Using the equation above and primary production estimates, we estimated for each year the proportion of primary production exploited in each of the 0. The expansion is accompanied by the nearly five-fold increase in catch, from 19 million t in equivalent to 9 billion t, wet weight, of primary production to 87 million t in Figure Primary production required PPR to sustain global marine fisheries landings expressed as percentage of local primary production PP. The maps represent total annual landings for top and bottom.

Note that PP estimates are static and derived from the synoptic observation for In , the footprint of one tonne of catch was, on average, t of PP wet weight. Some patterns in Figure should be noted. First, the exploitation levels off the coast of East Africa in are likely to be underestimated due to underrepresentation of Figure Time series of areas newly exploited by marine 2 fisheries , expressed in km. Newly exploited areas defined as regions where primary production required PPR to sustain reported fisheries landings exceeds the threshold percentage of local primary production PP.

The s to the mid s were the period of greatest expansion Figure , which corresponds to the period during which world catches began to stagnate, peaked and declined Wackernagal and Rees Comparison between the world ocean left and the continental shelves coastal waters down to m depth; right shows that the accelerated expansion during this period was driven primarily through expansion into the open ocean. It should be noted that for both continental shelves and the world ocean, the pace of expansion slows down, because most commercially viable regions have been expanded into, leaving areas furthest away from fishing ports such as in the South Atlantic and the shelves off Antarctica.

Figure summarizes the direction of this expansion by presenting the time series of the proportion of the world ocean that has come to be exploited across latitudinal gradients.

Time series of areas exploited by marine fisheries expressed a percentage of the total ocean area. Time series of areas exploited by marine fisheries by latitude class, expressed as a percentage of the total ocean area. The figure shows that, even in the s, the majority of the ocean surface in the North was already exploited and that, over time, an increasing proportion of the ocean in the South has become exploited.

The waters near the poles are either covered in ice or away from fishing ports, rendering them unattractive, for now, to commercial exploitation. Finally, Figure quantifies the rate of this southward expansion by presenting the distributions of the areas of new exploitation for each decade. This expansion in marine fisheries was increasingly reliant on new fishing grounds in the South, with the means of these new fishing grounds shifting southward, on average, by about 0. The northward deviations of the means from the regression line in the s suggest that the expansion has run its course.

This possibility is further confirmed the reduction in the size of newly exploited areas i. Ecological footprints are measured as the ratio between the productivity of the ecosystem and human consumption Wackernagel and Rees The standardization of fisheries catches into PPR enables footprints of various fisheries to be 3 2 Figure Newly exploited area 10 km for each latitude class, averaged over each decade.

Newly exploited area defined as ocean cells where primary production required to sustain fisheries catch exceeds the threshold percentage of primary production. Black dots at the base of each histogram represent the mean latitude of the distribution. The dots for each exploitation threshold are fitted with a linear regression; jointly, they suggest the southward expansion of 0. The complexity and variability of fisheries and the marine ecosystems within which they are embedded therein make it difficult to define an across-theboard exploitation threshold of sustainability.

The larger values are extraordinarily high compared with the These thresholds are more significant than they may seem, because the ecological impact of fishing depends on how much of the local primary production is available to sustain seafood production. In other words, we need to estimate the proportion of primary production can be sustainably removed each year without compromising ecosystem integrity. For our analysis, we assumed primary production to be constant over the study period, due to incomplete temporal coverage in the SeaWiFS dataset. While the level of primary production may have declined over the past 50 years concomitant with an observed reduction in the global chlorophyll concentration Boyce et al.

The spatial patterns of expansion observed in our study should thus be independent of changes in global primary productivity, as evident by the similarities in the expansion patterns observed using three exploitation thresholds. If we assume that the transfer efficiency is relatively constant across the trophic level, then the trophic transfer efficiency is a constant, and therefore, will have no significant effect on the spatial patterns observed.

Nevertheless, the comparison with increase in agricultural production is startling. Over the same period, marine fisheries, which underwent a comparable 2. With a limited room for expansion, and excessive appropriation of primary production in many regions, the only way toward sustainability of global fisheries goes through reduction of PPR.

The global per capita seafood consumption has been increasing steadily, from an average of 9. Human population itself has doubled over the same period, resulting in a near quadrupling in the quantity of fish consumed. Increasing income and urbanization in many developing countries, most notably China, and health concerns about other sources of animal protein are expected to further fuel the global demand for seafood into the future Delgado et al.

However, the consumption of seafood is not distributed evenly, and considerable regional differences occur. In , the annual per capita fish consumption of the industrialized countries stood at The bulk of this ever-growing demand is supplied by marine capture fisheries, not only as a direct source of seafood, but also indirectly via aquaculture production, which itself relies heavily on the input of marine fisheries catches in the form of feed, i. Indeed, mariculture has yet to make a significant net contribution to the global supply of fish Naylor et al.

Note that total landings bold have levelled off at around 80 million tonnes since the late s and are on a decline when the landings of Peruvian anchoveta Engraulis ringens are excluded grey.

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The thin black line represents the landings by distant water fleets i. While such fishing down may contribute to some initial increases in catches of prey species, more common consequences of this fishing down are outbursts of previously suppressed species which may or may not be suitable for human consumption e. Clearly, the current pattern of seafood consumption is not sustainable Myers and Worm ; Pauly et al. Sophisticated networks of trade relationships, supplied by large distant water fleets operating beyond the maritime boundaries of their home states, mean that in a large proportion of global fisheries landings are being consumed in countries outside the boundaries of the waters where the catches were taken.

Such flow results in the skewed distribution of fish noted above, with potential consequences to food security in many developing coastal countries Alder and Watson Gravitation of seafood at sea Large numbers of industrial fishing vessels from developed countries fish in the waters of developing countries. The emergence of the United Nations Conference on Law of the Sea UNCLOS , in the late s, enabled coastal countries to claim exclusive rights to waters reaching nautical miles into the open sea, including essentially all coastal shelves and their fisheries resources.

Under this new regime, developed countries with established distant water fleets, could not dismantle them without significant economic and social consequences. Under these arrangements, they secured fishing opportunities in the waters of developing countries in exchange for financial compensation Figure In some countries, fishing by foreign fleets far exceeds fishing by the host country Bonfil et al.

While access agreements provide a valuable option for developing countries to extract economic benefits from their fisheries resource, there are concerns about the equity of these arrangements and their impact on local artisanal fishers and the development of domestic fisheries see e. Kaczynski and Fluharty Moreover, in countries with limited resources for management, surveillance and enforcement, there are also concerns about the impact of distant water fleets on the environment and sustainability. For developing countries with distant water fleets operating in such EEZs, the process of negotiating fair compensation is extremely difficult because the detailed operational cost of distant water fleets is not available.

In general, there seems to be little relationship between the value of the catch by distant water fleets and the level of fees they pay Kaczynski and Fluharty ; Petersen , indicative of weak negotiating power of the host countries, or, worse, possible corruption on both sides. Moreover, most of the hosts lack the capacity to monitor the catches of foreign fleets, making it difficult for host countries to assess the quantities and value of the fish caught by the distant water fleets.

This further contributes to developing countries being underpaid and their waters overfished by foreign fleets. In the s, for example, fishing access agreements signed between the EU and developing countries generated on average, value added of EUR million annually in the EU member states through processing and marketing of fish caught.

This amount represented three times the benefits accruing to the host countries that have signed fisheries agreements with the EU Gorez Moreover, distant water fleets generally benefit from a variety of subsidies, including the payment of access agreement compensation by their home governments.

With these subsidies, distant water fleets have been able to continue to operate even when the stocks have become too depleted to make their exploitation economically profitable Munro and Sumaila Gravitation of seafood via the international market International trade in fish products, like other kinds of trade, is often assumed to benefit all involved actors. However, given the large amounts of fish entering into international markets, there are concerns that exported fish species will no longer be available for domestic consumption, thus compromising the food security of the exporting countries, particularly in low-income, food-deficient countries LIFDCs.

Fish is one of the most widely traded commodities in the world with nearly 40 percent of world fish production entering the international market—significantly more than for other food staples such as wheat 20 percent and rice 5 percent FAO The trends toward globalization of business, banking, and telecommunications, as well as the policies of trade liberalization and expansion of global fishing fleets over the past 50 years have greatly contributed to this increase in fish trade.

The total volume and value of fish trade have steadily increased from 8 million t worth USD 8 billion in to 54 million t worth USD Fish trade flows can be summarized as follow FAO It is evident from these statistics that there is a net flow of fish in the international market from developing to developed countries.

Whether this should be viewed as problematic remains a matter of debate. Proponents of free markets would point out that a large share of traded fish products is comprised of high value products, such as shrimp and tuna may be of little interest to consumers in the poorer countries. Therefore, they would also argue that the substantial amount of foreign exchange earned from the export of these luxury fish products can be used to import much larger volumes of low cost foods, with a large net nutritional gain. But while increasing international trade in fish and fishery products undoubtedly provides social and economic benefits for developing countries, there is a need for caution.

Although the export-oriented fisheries sector may present opportunities for developing countries to earn foreign exchange, the demand from international markets exerts huge pressures on fisheries resources. Thus, meeting demand may encourage intensive, destructive and illegal fishing to the detriment of sustainability. There are also concerns that promoting international trade in fisheries products could have negative consequences for local food security.

Moreover, in many cases, much of the foreign exchange earned from the export of fish is not devoted to purchasing low cost, nutritious foods for an undernourished population, but is diverted to the purchase of luxury products in demand by local elites or tourists van Mulekom et al. Thus, participation in international fish trade may result in a net gain of benefit to the country as a whole, but a net loss to the poor majority.

New market opportunities for fishmeal, supported by the growth of aquaculture could also lead to local artisanal fisheries exporting small pelagic species that have traditionally been consumed locally — similar to the situation which occurred for demersal fish in West Africa with the artisanal fishery supplying the export market rather than local markets Neiland Moreover, many fisheries operations in developing nations are owned by people or firms from developed countries, thus contributing less to the local economies than it would seem.

Participants in a joint fisheries venture often have contradictory objectives with regard to what they hope to achieve through the arrangement, which is a major obstacle in attaining a successful partnership Greboval For the local partner and the government of the host country, the primary concern is the long-term development of fisheries and the creation of associated social and economic benefits.

They therefore assume that the joint venture arrangement will provide employment and training opportunities for the local population while providing a low cost food supply for the local market. In some extreme cases, the joint venture is seen as merely a means of securing fishing access for the parent companies of the foreign partners, and not as a profit-generating system, their objective being to minimize costs, as documented in an older, but very thoughtful analysis of a Japanese joint venture in the Salomon Islands Meltzoff In other words, countries can now consume fish at a level that exceeds the productivity of their domestic water, i.

That said, this contribution seeks to establish an overall picture of fish consumption by major markets in industrialized countries under globalization, and how the consuming countries influence marine fisheries resources across the world. The approach is as follows. Then, based on the spatial distribution of source fisheries and that of domestic fisheries of the three markets, the spatial patterns of their fish consumption are plotted onto global maps. Materials and methods The methodology used to predict consumption footprints relies on two databases: Both food and industrial i.

Spatial patterns of the consumption footprints are derived from distribution of domestic fisheries and those of fisheries in trading partners. In the present study, the databases developed by the Sea Around Us Project www. For some countries and regions that have been historically underrepresented due to their relatively large informal fisheries sectors i. Zeller and Pauly Using ancillary data regarding the geographic distribution of commercially exploited taxa and fishing agreements that regulate foreign access to the Exclusive Economic Zones EEZs of maritime countries as proxies for locations of reported catches, the database presents reported worldwide catches, from to the present, at a spatial resolution of a 30 minute latitude by 30 minute longitude ocean grid system.

This database, after accounting for exports see below , composes the capture fisheries component of seafood consumption. For the imported component of consumption, a database of bilateral trade flows of marine fish commodities is developed. Like the marine landings database, this trade database utilized reported statistics of the United Nations UN ComTrade , regional e. Much of the reported statistics is expressed as processed products e. In order to harmonize the trade with the fisheries landings information, the quantities in the trade database are re-expressed as live weight equivalents.

Wherever possible, attempts are made to distinguish between commodities derived from marine fisheries and those derived from aquaculture or freshwater fisheries. However, under the current international reporting system e. Harmonized System codes , distinction between products of wild and farmed origins are not made. Thus, an algorithm that determines the likely origin of commodities using the relative proportions between fisheries landings and aquaculture production is used. For this as well, a rule-based algorithm, which estimate the taxonomic identity of underspecified commodities using the catch composition of exporting countries is used.

Landings records for the year and exporting country corresponding to a trade record and for taxa within the range of all possible taxonomic identities of the commodity reported in the record are first extracted from the fisheries landings database. Therefore, this subset is further reduced to the top twenty landed taxa by weight.

In doing so, it is assumed that a country is likely to export the species of fish that are most abundant in their reported landings. Results Figures , and present the origins of fish consumed in the three markets examined. The patterns of their consumptions are described below for each market. The European Union Expansion of the European distant water fishing fleets are well documented e.

Alder and Sumaila ; Kaczynski and Fluharty , particularly off the West African coast, where the EU has entered into fishing access arrangements with multiple countries in the region. Under the Common Fisheries Policy, the EU collectively enters into bilateral fisheries agreements with coastal countries with agreed fishing opportunities allocated to its member countries, mostly amongst the major fishing nations of Spain, Portugal and France, and mostly for tuna vessels and bottom trawlers.

From to , 29 percent 8. In terms of trade, the EU countries are increasingly dependent on imports for their fish Figure Five year average from — While a large bulk of their imports is of an intra-EU origin, a large amount of fish enters EU markets from developing countries, particularly from those that qualify under the Generalised System of Preferences GSP that provides preferential access to its market. It is estimated that the EU annually imports over 9. This is likely due to two contributing factors: Japan is also a major destination for marine fish export, importing approximately 5.

Their major trading Figure Figure C shows that Japan is the major destination of catch taken in the Pacific as well as for the high seas catches in the Southeast Atlantic. This pattern is because of the geographical proximity of the region and because Japan is the largest market for tuna, the important export fishery for many of the countries in the South Pacific. In fact, following the declaration of its EEZ in , the primary focus of its fisheries development policy was to phase out distant water fisheries operating within its EEZ e. Overall The three markets, jointly, are estimated annually consumed an average of 28 million t of non-farmed marine fish and invertebrates during the period of to , accounting for 35 percent of the total marine fisheries landings.

The combined impact of the three markets, therefore, can be said to be truly global. It is most likely that the footprints of Figure This map represents the geographic extent of the consumption footprints of the consumers in the industrialized countries. Five-year average from to Conclusion This is the first time that global fisheries catch and fish import data have been integrated to establish, in this manner, the relationship between fisheries catch and fish consumption.

The results are startling. Since the types of fish and the quantities in which they are consumed can be considered to be a luxury, the fact that they gravitate toward these markets should not come as a great surprise. Such result raises some interesting questions that demands further exploration.

How and why did this pattern emerge? And perhaps most importantly, what are the implications, both positive and negative, for the people in the countries whose waters and fleets are providing these fish? While in some fisheries, a combination of effective regulations and proper economic policies has demonstrated that sustainability in marine fisheries is attainable Worm et al. While many factors contribute to the difficulty of achieving sustainable fisheries, such as limits on current scientific understanding of underlying marine ecosystems or the insufficiency of administrative capacity, it is increasingly becoming apparent that the current models of fisheries suffer from the misalignment of economic incentive structures that inadvertently endorse over-investment in the industry and overexploitation of the resource base Clark ; Munro One of the main sources of perverse economic signals encouraging overfishing is the provision of inappropriate government subsidies that artificially generate profit in unprofitable fishing operations.

Fisheries subsidies have been provided for a wide range of purposes, including stimulating industry development and supporting regional and rural communities Sumaila et al. While it is unreasonable to suggest that fisheries subsidies are implemented in a deliberately destructive way, the economic incentives that such programs create can lead to overcapacity and overfishing.

Thus many types of fisheries subsidies enable fleets to continue their operation even when their resource bases i. Over the past several decades, the issues of fisheries subsidies and their regulation have increasingly become the subject of international diplomatic discussions, culminating in the inclusion of international regulation on fisheries subsidies as one of the mandates for the current Doha Round of negotiations at the World Trade Organization WTO , launched in While the Doha Round is currently stalled, and the future of the negotiations on fisheries subsidies regulations at the WTO is highly uncertain, it is clear that in the decade following the WTO Doha Declaration, there has been significant progress in international awareness of the problem of fisheries subsidies.

This contribution examines the impact and the scale of fisheries subsidies and discusses the current state of play on the fisheries subsidies negotiations at the WTO. Meanwhile, the FAO uses a much broader definition of fisheries subsidies: A similarly broad definition was also used in the recent global analysis of fisheries subsidies by Sumaila et al.

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Categories of fisheries subsidies As is the case with defining fisheries subsidies, there is no single criterion for classifying fishery subsidies. The following are the classification system as defined by Sumaila et al. Beneficial subsidies are programs that lead to investment in natural capital assets fishery resources , including enhancement of fish stocks through conservation and effective surveillance and enforcement of management measures.

These programs include monitoring and surveillance, stock assessment and resource surveys, and habitat and stock enhancement e. Fishery research and development: Capacity enhancing subsidies are programs that lead to disinvestments in natural capital assets such that the fishing capacity develops to a point where resource overexploitation makes it impossible to achieve optimal long-term yield i.

These programs include all forms of capital investments by the government that reduce cost of fishing or enhance revenue. These programs include fuel price support, rebates and fuel tax exemptions. Boat construction, renewal and modernization programs: Fishing port construction and maintenance: Examples include landing sites, harbor maintenance and discounted moorage for fishing vessels.

Globalization: Effects on Fisheries Resources

Price and marketing support: Fishery development projects and support services: Acquisition of such fishing rights are commonly achieved through cash payments or provision of fishing technologies or favorable market access and when the costs of fishing right acquisitions are not recouped from the fishing industry, they are considered subsidies.

Ambiguous subsidies are programs whose impacts are undetermined and may depend heavily on the conditions under which they are granted. This type of subsidy can be capacity enhancing since it increases revenue; or may reduce fishing pressure by enabling fishers to cease fishing and allow the recovery of exploited fish stocks.

In principal, such programs would reduce fishing pressure and allow stock recovery; however, if these programs are anticipated by fishers, they can be capacity enhancing by encouraging fishers to increase their fishing capacity prior to the buybacks Clark et al. Rural fishing community development program: Subsidy support programs such as these are unsustainable without sufficient fisheries management and promote a large excess of rural labor that may lead to Malthusian overfishing Pauly Scale of fisheries subsidies Because of the lack of access to reliable and consistent information on fisheries subsidies programs worldwide, there has been a diverse range of estimates of the magnitude of government subsidies to the sector, with little consistency in definition, data source or methodology across the estimates.

Global subsidy estimates by program type in billion USD, from Sumaila et al. The earliest global estimate FAO , derived from estimated revenues and costs of global fisheries, valued fisheries subsidies at USD 54 billion, although this figure is now considered to be too high. An in- depth study by Milazzo concluded that subsidies represent nearly 20 per cent of the landed value of the global fisheries at USD billion per year. In , Sumaila et al. The analysis by Sumaila et al.

Although there are large differences among the estimates, all studies conclude that the scale of fisheries subsidies is considerable, given that the total value of global fisheries i. Impacts of fisheries subsidies Fisheries subsidies have an impact on the profits of fishing enterprises by either increasing their revenues e. Whilst the effects of subsidies on resources will depend on the type of the fisheries management regimes as well as on the state of the fish stocks Hannesson ; OECD ; von Molke , many such subsidies act as perverse economic incentives, encouraging fisheries industries to over-invest in themselves.

In open access fisheries, where entry into fisheries is not restricted, subsidies that improve the profitability of the fishery will lead to overcapitalization and overexploitation Munro and Sumaila Hence, subsidies in open access fisheries can be considered both unsustainable in both economic and resource terms. Effective controls of catch in the form of a total allowable catch i. Nevertheless, subsidies to such management regimes, lacking effective controls of fishing effort, will likely lead to fleet overcapacity, commonly manifesting in the gross shortening of fishing seasons Munro and Sumaila Again, such programs cannot be considered economically sustainable.

Moreover, overinvestment in a fishery caused by subsidies, may lead to greater industry pressure to increase the caps on the total catch, potentially to levels beyond what would be considered biologically sustainable. Assuming perfect enforcement, the negative effects of fisheries subsidies can be eliminated under effective management of both catch and fishing effort.

However, in reality, perfect enforcement is rarely, if ever, achieved. Furthermore, from a societal standpoint, the introduction of subsidies into fisheries distorts economic incentives in the society, needlessly attracting human and other resources into an industry where they yield a lower return than they would if they were employed in other sectors of the economy.

Provisions of subsidies, therefore, represent a new welfare loss to society, even in the presence of effective management Cox and Sumaila That is, subsidies to the industries targeting the international market can harm unsubsidized industries in other countries by distorting their market competitiveness. It is likely that such effects exist in fisheries, given that a large proportion of the global catch is traded internationally FAO , although the trade-distorting effects of fisheries subsidies have yet to be explicitly challenged in international forums such as the World Trade Organization, whose primary objective is to curtail trade-distorting subsidies.

Moreover, with regard to shared and straddling stocks, the resource effects i. Fisheries subsidies negotiations at the WTO and challenges ahead Early Stages of the WTO Subsidies Negotiation The inclusion of fisheries subsidies in the Doha Round of the WTO negotiations marked the first effort by the international trade organization to address the environmental issues in a key natural resource sector using trade related disciplines.

This unique environmental aspect of the negotiation mandate was unfamiliar to the WTO and the negotiations have proved to be challenging and complex. The Doha Ministerial Declaration WTO which launched the Doha Round in described the negotiation mandate on the fisheries subsidies as follows: Para 28 The somewhat ambiguous language of the mandate, particularly the lack of explicit reference to the nature of the required clarifications and improvements of the existing WTO disciplines i.

ASCM , has meant that for first few years after Doha, the negotiations were dominated by discussions on the interpretation of the mandate. By , however, a consensus began to emerge for acceptance of the environmental mandate of the negotiations. Several factors contributed the emergence of consensus.

The Hong Kong mandate fundamentally altered the dynamics of the fisheries subsidies negotiations. The focus of the negotiation shifted from the scope of the negotiation mandate to identifying the types of subsidies to be included in the ensuing prohibition and formulating the nature of the special and differential treatments for developing countries. These countries maintained that fisheries subsidies are damaging only in poorly managed fisheries and, therefore, the prohibition should be applied only in absence of proper management.

Meanwhile the discussion on the nature of the special and differential treatment focused on identifying the types of subsidy programs that can be beneficial in addressing the development needs of the developing countries while instituting a certain set of conditions under which the special and differential treatments are granted, so as to prevent their abuse. The Hong Kong Declaration also opened a period of negotiations centered on the legal language of the resulting agreement, with many countries proposing various versions of legal texts.

While the proposals and negotiations did not yield significant convergences on major issues, by , following a brief suspension of the Doha Round in , the Chair of the Negotiating Group on Rules was requested to prepare a draft of proposed rules for fisheries subsidies. These exceptions, apart from those provided to least-developed countries, require the subsidizing countries to maintain a fisheries management system meeting certain international standards, including possible involvement of the FAO in a peer review process, and notification of all programs to the WTO secretariat.

Nonetheless, the text was widely embraced as a basis for continuing negotiations and almost all of the subsequent proposals by members were submitted as amendments to the text. The declared target of these discussions for all components of the Doha Round was to produce revised legal texts to be submitted for possible confirmation at the next round of Ministerial meetings to be held by the end of the year. The collective enthusiasm for the completion of the Round stimulated a proliferation of proposals in the fisheries subsidies negotiations, with eight new proposals being submitted in the span of three months in addition to the six proposals submitted in The following are highlights from some of the proposals and discussions on key issues see Appendix A for summaries of the proposed amendments.

Proposals by the Republic of Korea Like the proposal submitted by Japan, the proposals submitted by the Republic of Korea were centered on the belief that effective fisheries management systems can minimize the negative impacts of fisheries subsidies. Korea also submitted a proposal incorporating the concept of de minimis WTO c , first introduced in the context of fisheries subsidies by Canada below.

Proposal by Canada Arguing for a simple and enforceable approach to the discipline on fisheries subsidies, Canada submitted a proposal based on the concept of de minimis general exception WTO d. This proposal argued for a system where countries would be able to provide subsidies of any type, up to an agreed threshold, with a higher threshold for developing countries, possibly differentiated according to the scale of their fisheries. The simplicity of the proposal has garnered some support, for example from the European Union, which implements a similar program for its members; however, some countries contended that such a system may create loopholes in the discipline and that without knowing the size of the de minimis caps, it is not possible to assess the impact of such proposals.

These countries contended that developing countries, as latecomers to high seas fisheries, need to catch up with the high seas fleets of the developed world and that the cost advantages enjoyed by the fleets of developed countries are too great to overcome without subsidies. According to the report by the Chair WTO e , this issue of subsidization of high seas fishing became one of the most contentious issues in the latter stage of the negotiation, with opponents of such an exception countering that fishing activities in the high seas are highly industrialized operations and should, therefore, face the same subsidy rules as all other high seas fleets.

Proposal by other developing countries Several proposals put forward by the coalition of small and vulnerable economies SVEs and Africa, Caribbean and Pacific ACP argued that due to the relatively small scale of their fisheries, contributions by these countries to global overcapacity and overfishing are negligible WTO c; WTO e; WTO f. These proposals, therefore, seek to exempt from the prohibition countries with a total marine fisheries catch below a specified threshold, e. In addition, there were proposals submitted by Morocco WTO f , Ecuador and Peru WTO g , and Malaysia WTO h , the objectives of which were to clarify some of the language used in describing small and artisanal fisheries and subsidies programs available to these fisheries under the special and differential treatment provision.

The subject of fuel subsidies, for example, has been the most contentious and several sessions of the negotiations were dedicated exclusively to addressing this issue. Some delegates considered that all fuel subsidies, regardless of their specificity to fisheries, should be disciplined, while others argued for a more tailored approach to regulating their use.

Some delegates, noting the wide range of fuel prices between countries, challenged the various fuel pricing policies, including fuel tax policies. In the end, three months of negotiations in early saw minimal convergences in key issues with delegates offering little room for compromise. The Negotiating Group Chair concluded that he is not in a position to present a revised legal text on the subject as was mandated and instead produced a report that summarized the state of the negotiations WTO e.

The conclusion from the report was not promising. Any potential breakthroughs in the negotiations on fisheries subsidies at the WTO, must therefore be coupled with similar breakthroughs in the negotiations on the Doha Round as a whole. Like the current situation on the fisheries subsidies negotiations, the outlook for the Doha Round as a whole is bleak. Conclusion Despite the significant amount of effort devoted to identifying and measuring fisheries subsidies and to analyzing their potential and actual impacts on environmental and economic sustainability over the past decade, there has been little progress made in formulating an international regime for the regulation of fisheries subsidies.

The negotiation for the improved discipline on fisheries subsidies at the WTO has stalled in recent years and considerable challenges remain before a meaningful agreement can be attained. Perhaps the aspiration of achieving a comprehensive agreement in an organization dedicated to international trade was over-ambitious. However, the standstill of the Doha Round may present opportunities for other international organizations with dedicated interest in sustainable management of marine fisheries.