• State of play in world capture fisheries;
• Cooperative sustainable management of the fisheries resource;
• Subsidies reform to minimize, if not avoid, unsustainable practices; and
• Trade facilitation for sustainably harvested fish and fishery products.
Based on the discussions of these issues, the session will consider the next steps that need to be taken to ensure the sustainability of fish stocks; improve the capacity of the industry to enter global markets and enhance livelihoods for local communities; and suggest ways in which regional cooperation can better support the global trade regime.
Fish and fishery products are among the most internationally traded commodities, with developing countries accounting primarily for world fish exports. Given its potential to promote development in developing countries, attention has focused on how fisheries trade can be facilitated while ensuring the sustainability of the fisheries resource base. In the WTO, discussions have focused on reducing subsidies in the fisheries sector since the Johannesburg Sustainable Development Summit in 2002.
The WTO Ministerial Meeting in Bali is an opportunity to take stock of the progress—or the lack of it—that has been made at the international, regional and national levels, in addressing the above concerns, and to help shape the post-Bali agenda and priorities for the fisheries sector in international trade.
The session will have three main presentations: the state of fisheries sector and role of regional cooperation in advancing the development agenda of the sector; fisheries subsidies and its impact on resources and trade; and the role of trade in the development agenda for the fisheries sector, with a focus on initiatives of developed countries to assist fisheries producers from developing countries participate and benefit from the global exchange.
A panel of discussants is expected to take up the issues and proposals laid out in the three presentations and lend their perspectives as members of government, civil society, international organization and research community.
At the end of the session, the moderator will synthesize the points raised by the panel and participants, highlighting areas of consensus, lingering debates, and need for continuous dialogue and cooperation among stakeholders.