Fisheries resources are essential to many Pacific Island Countries but are of keen interest for fishing nations from elsewhere. Under the Sustainable Development Goal 14 there is a mandate for the World Trade Organization (WTO) to act to prohibit certain subsidies that contribute to overfishing and overcapacity and eliminate subsidies for Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing while ensuring that developing countries can still develop.
Negotiations at the WTO on fisheries subsidies however are seeing some Members push to undermine the ability of Pacific Island Country members to be able to develop the industries to fish our resources. Many nations whom have built their fishing industries are now demanding others have that ability removed. It is critical that Pacific WTO members retain their right to develop and ensure that management and conservation measures aren’t subject to the WTO’s rules.