Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies

Mitchell Lennan, Stephanie Switzer

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At the 12th Ministerial Conference in June 2022, Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) reached a historic Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies that aims to contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This article provides the necessary background to the Agreement, tracing briefly the history to the negotiations. After a general overview of the Agreement, three key provisions of the Agreement are examined, namely, the prohibition of subsidies to (1) illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, (2) the fishing of overexploited stocks, and (3) fisheries on the high seas outside the competence of regional fisheries management organisations. The provisions of the Agreement on special and differential treatment in favour of developing and least developed countries, as well as notable procedural and institutional features, are also considered. The remaining issues still to be addressed at the WTO are highlighted in the conclusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-177
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Marine and Coastal Law
Issue number1
Early online date25 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2023
EventTwelfth WTO Ministerial Conference - Geneva, Switzerland
Duration: 12 Jun 202217 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Open Access via the Brill Agreement


  • fisheries subsidies
  • World Trade Organization (WTO)
  • sustainable development goals
  • illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing


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