Eradicating poverty and harmful fisheries subsidies are two pressing challenges frequently addressed in international agendas for sustainable development. Here we investigate a potential solution for addressing both challenges simultaneously by asking the hypothetical question: to what extent can harmful fisheries subsidies provided by a country finance the cost of lifting fishers out of poverty? Focusing on 30 coastal least developed countries, we find that fishers in 87% of these countries do not earn sufficient income to satisfy the extreme poverty line income of USD 1.90/person/day, and that it would cost an estimated USD 2.2 to 2.6 billion to lift these fishers to different levels of poverty line incomes. Our analysis further suggests that at the country level, redirected harmful fisheries subsidies can cover the entire cost of covering the poverty income gap for between 37 to 43% of assessed countries. Our results provide quantitative evidence that can be used to support simultaneous progress towards achieving several Sustainable Development Goals, including those dealing with poverty reduction, food insecurity, and ocean sustainability.