Seychelles is first WTO member from Africa to formally accept fishing subsidies agreement

Seychelles deposited its instrument of acceptance for the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies on 10 March, making it the third WTO member and first African country to do so. Acceptances from two-thirds of WTO members are needed for the Agreement to come into effect. Adopted by consensus at the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) held in Geneva on 12-17 June 2022, the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies sets new binding, multilateral rules to curb harmful subsidies, which are a key factor in the widespread depletion of the world’s fish stocks. In addition, the Agreement recognizes the needs of developing and least-developed countries (LDCs) and establishes a Fund to provide technical assistance and capacity building to help them implement the obligations. The Agreement prohibits support for illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, bans support for fishing overfished stocks, and ends subsidies for fishing on the unregulated high seas. Fishing stocks are predicted to be highly impacted as a result of climate change. Under the IPCC’s 1.5 degree report, a global fishery model, projected a decrease in global annual catch for marine fisheries of more than 3 million tonnes in a 2°C scenario.

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