This year the World Trade Organization (WTO) is pushing to reach an agreement on the use of subsidies for fishing, a deal that will have widespread impacts on small-scale and artisanal fisherfolk around the world.


While the negotiations on fisheries subsidies began over 18 years ago, they received a renewed boost with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


The SDG14.6 aims for members to “by 2020, prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, and eliminate subsidies that contribute to Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, recognizing that appropriate and effective Special and Differential Treatment (SDT) for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of the WTO fisheries subsidies negotiation.”


This briefing paper is aimed to help fishing communities engage with the current WTO negotiations on fisheries subsidies, see what a possible deal can mean for their lifelines and their livelihoods and provide some guiding questions to allow communities to link their specific circumstances to the impacts of the proposed WTO rules.

Download SSF WTO Briefing paper