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APO International

Mauritius formally accepts Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies

todayMay 14, 2024 9

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Director-General Okonjo-Iweala said: “I warmly welcome the formal acceptance by Mauritius of the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies. This is a concrete demonstration of Mauritius’s commitment to the WTO system and to global efforts to improve the sustainability of the world’s marine fisheries. The fisheries sector has historically been an important source of employment and exports for Mauritius and continues to figure prominently in its plans to develop its blue economy. A healthy ocean, built on strong and cooperative fisheries management, will be a reliable source of long-lasting economic and environmental benefits, paying dividends for future generations of Mauritians.”

Ambassador Dwarka-Canabady said: “Mauritius is pleased to be the 75th WTO member to deposit its instrument of acceptance of the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies and looks forward to the entry into force of the Agreement this year. As a Small Island Developing State with large maritime zones, Mauritius remains committed to the combatting of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and to sustainable fisheries globally as an essential component of climate security, for preserving healthy ecosystems and achieving food security.”

Mauritius’s instrument of acceptance brings to 75 the total number of WTO members that have formally accepted the Agreement. Thirteen members from Africa have formally accepted the Agreement. Thirty-five more formal acceptances are needed for the Agreement to come into effect. The Agreement will enter into force upon acceptance by two-thirds of the membership.

Adopted by consensus at the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12), held in Geneva on 12-17 June 2022, the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies sets new, binding, multilateral rules to curb harmful subsidies, which are a key factor in the widespread depletion of the world’s fish stocks. In addition, the Agreement recognizes the needs of developing and least-developed countries and establishes a fund to provide technical assistance and capacity building to help them implement the obligations.

The Agreement prohibits support for illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, bans support for fishing overfished stocks and ends subsidies for fishing on the unregulated high seas.

Members also agreed at MC12 to continue negotiations on outstanding issues, with a view to adopting additional provisions that would further enhance the disciplines of the Agreement.

The full text of the Agreement can be accessed here. The list of members that have deposited their instruments of acceptance is available here. Information for members on how to accept the Protocol of Amendment is available here.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Trade Organization (WTO).

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