WTO Meeting: Negotiations to curb harmful fisheries subsidies facing ‘deadlock’

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The negotiations to curb harmful fisheries subsidies estimated at $14 billion-$20.5 billion annually is facing a deadlock at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) thanks to “deeply fixed” positions of members over special and differential treatment (S&DT) concessions for emerging economies.

While India and some others are insisting on carve-outs for poverty-stricken nations to safeguard the subsidies of small fishers, there are others who want them to take on full commitments either with longer timelines or technical support, the Hindu BusinessLine reported.

At a recent WTO meeting in Geneva, Ambassador Didier Chambovey of Switzerland said that he had failed to narrow the gap between differing opinions held by some countries.

It must be mentioned here that WTO members are trying to reach an agreement on prohibiting ‘harmful’ fisheries subsidies that lead to overfishing and depletion of fish stocks globally.

Many developing countries including India and Fiji, underlined the fact that effective S&DT should be an indispensable part of the WTO fisheries subsidies negotiation, as per the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).