The country’s fishing community united to oppose WTO’s decision to end subsidies.
The country’s fishing community, both traditional and mechanized, has united in its opposition to the WTO’s decision to end subsidies in the small-scale fisheries sector.
They stated in a memorandum to visiting Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal that the highly complicated rules on fisheries subsidies are being negotiated at the WTO meeting scheduled for June 12-15 in Geneva.
The fishing communities are concerned that these rules will jeopardize their livelihoods and drive them into poverty and deprivation. The WTO negotiations appear to be geared toward protecting the interests of countries with commercial fishing while ignoring the interests of subsistence fishermen, according to Peter Mathias, president of the All Kerala Fishing Board Operators Association.
The current state of negotiations on fisheries subsidies must not be allowed to continue, and the government should take immediate steps to block any WTO move to end subsidies in the fisheries sector.
‘Withdrawing subsidies will have a severe impact on our livelihoods, which are already stressed due to the scarcity of fish due to climate change, marine pollution, and other factors,’ he said.
The associations also asked the Commerce Minister to intervene to prevent the WTO from withdrawing fisheries subsidies.
Trawlnet Boat Operators Association, Kollam District Fishing Boat Operators Association, Karnataka Purse-seine Meenugarara Sangha, Malpe Fishermen’s Association, and Cochin Fisheries Harbour Vyavasaya Samrakshana Samithy were among the associations that met with the Minister in Kochi.