End to harmful fishing subsidies is a positive step for marine animals worldwide.

End to harmful fishing subsidies is a positive step for marine animals worldwide.


Ministers from around the world have confirmed their commitment to help protect the world’s oceans and its fisheries.

Earlier this month, a coalition of 13 World Trade Organisation Members including Australia announced an initiative to stop harmful fisheries subsidies - in particular those that contribute to overfishing or are linked to illegal fishing.

Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU fishing) contributes to the amount of fishing gear being dumped or discarded in our oceans. IUU fishing vessels are more likely to dump their fishing gear when patrol vessels are in sight or when entry to a port is denied.

In addition, IUU vessels are also unlikely to report lost gear that may have been lost in extreme weather conditions or through operator error.

Abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear is extremely harmful for the marine environment, causing immense suffering by trapping, injuring, mutilating and killing hundreds of thousands of whales, seals, turtles and birds annually.

The new initiative will help ensure the long-term sustainability of global fisheries and protect the more than three billion people, many of whom live in the poorest and least-developed countries, who rely on our oceans.

World Animal Protection welcomes the elimination of subsidies contributing to IUU fishing and shares the view of the Ministers that this initiative will result in significant economic, development, environment and animal protection benefits.

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