20 years on, still no WTO deal to curb overfishing



Stephen Olson | Hinrich Foundation

July 15th had been circled in red on the calendars of many trade watchers for months. The hope, if not expectation, had been for WTO trade ministers – convened for a virtual meeting – to finally reach agreement to curb subsidies to the fishing industry.

These subsidies have contributed greatly to a dangerous depletion in global fish stocks and pose a significant environmental hazard. The negotiations have taken on an out-sized importance as a litmus test for both the WTO’s relevance as well as the effectiveness of the new Director General, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

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