Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies

Lennan, Mitchell and Switzer, Stephanie (2023) Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies. The International Journal of Marine and Coastal Law, 38 (1). 161–177. ISSN 1571-8085 (

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At the 12th Ministerial Conference in June 2022, Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) reached a historic Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies that aims to contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This article provides the necessary background to the Agreement, tracing briefly the history to the negotiations. After a general overview of the Agreement, three key provisions of the Agreement are examined, namely, the prohibition of subsidies to (1) illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, (2) the fishing of overexploited stocks, and (3) fisheries on the high seas outside the competence of regional fisheries management organisations. The provisions of the Agreement on special and differential treatment in favour of developing and least developed countries, as well as notable procedural and institutional features, are also considered. The remaining issues still to be addressed at the WTO are highlighted in the conclusion.