Trade and Environment Review 2016
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Trade and Environment Review 2016

Fish Trade

The Trade and Environment Review 2016 addresses the matter of harmful incentives, primarily in terms of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and fisheries subsidies, as an important part of the toolkit to restore fish populations, foster sustainable fisheries and deliver substantial economic and social gains. The Review proposes developing an overarching traceability system of traded fish from vessel to final consumer, as key to arresting and eliminating IUU fishing, but notes the requirement for major upgrading of institutional and technical implementation capacities, which may be difficult for some countries with fewer financial resources. On subsidies, there should be full transparency and disclosure of all fisheries subsidies, which should be classified in order to identify and distinguish those that are harmful or not. Efforts to discipline capacity-enhancing subsidies should be exerted at the national, regional and global levels of governance and, given previous intransience on this issue, a group of countries in partnership with organizations such as the WTO, UNCTAD and the FAO could stimulate collective actions with bottom-up voluntary commitments to subsidy reform.

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Trade in sustainable fisheries and aquaculture You do not have access to this content

English
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Author(s):
UNCTAD

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The conservation of oceans and seas, including fish and marine species, gained significant impetus with the adoption of new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the United Nations in September 2015. Goal 14 on the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and seas and marine resources provides strong guidance for action by the international community. Interaction between instruments seeking the conservation of wild fish stocks and marine species on the one hand, and the trade regime on the other, will shape the way in which we harvest, process and trade fish. Fish stocks conservation is an urgent concern that cannot continue unaddressed. This note provides a forecast on how the fish and world trade regimes will look like five years after the implementation of SDGs in 2035. Three main trends are likely to affect the supply and demand of fish and fish products. In the trade realm, these trends point to a selective and incremental incorporation of marine live and fish conservation measures in the multilateral trading system, and regional trade agreements in particular. By 2035, wild marine catch will grow only slightly while aquaculture products will fill the gaps in order to address increasing demand. Moreover, tariffs on fish and fish products will be lower, non-tariff measures will continue to proliferate while some unfair practices such as subsidies and IUU fishing activities will be addressed at the multilateral and regional levels