African leaders must urge WTO members to end distant-water fishing subsidies

Published Nov 15, 2021

Tridge summary

Other governments prop up their distant-water fleets, hurting fisheries throughout the region Mauritania's waters are rich in biodiversity: More than 600 fish species live in the northwest African nation's territorial waters. The fishing industry provides jobs for 180,400 people and accounts for up to 10% of the country's gross domestic product, according to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization.

Original content

But that wealth of marine resources is also the reason that fishing fleets from foreign nations flock to Mauritania's coast. These vessels are often powered by harmful government subsidies that pay for fuel and other expenses, artificially lowering the cost of fishing and enabling fleets to fish in areas where it would otherwise not make economic sense. One hundred thirty-five foreign vessels, primarily from Asia and Europe, traveled across the ocean in 2018 to fish in Mauritania's waters, also known as its exclusive economic zone (EEZ), according to a new research-based tool created by scientists from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), and funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts. That kind of distant-water fishing is only possible because of government subsidies. Researchers from the University of British Columbia estimate that governments worldwide give out $22 billion in harmful fisheries subsidies every year, nearly two-thirds of which comes from six countries and ...
Source: All Africa
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