A fisheries worker unloading the fish catch. (Photo: UNFAO)
Issues as to fishing industry subsidies, deemed as contributing to overfishing and whose estimated value amounts to USD 35 billion by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), are to be one of the key issues that will be debated at next month's Ocean Conference in New York.
“If you consider that the total export of fish and seafood products is USD 146 billion, we are talking about that of each USD 5 in fish products, USD 1 is subsidized,” David Vivas, a Legal Affairs Officer in UNCTAD's Trade, Environment, Climate Change and Sustainable Development Branch pointed out.
“So it's not a small amount. People are paying very expensively for a fish. They pay it by the dish and with their taxes,” continued Vivas,
In his view, this financial motivation creates “a race to the bottom” as fleets compete against each other to harvest increasing amounts of fish – at a time when seafood is already a scarce res...