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by Asit Ranjan Mishra
February 17,2017 | Source: LiveMint
The World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial meeting in Argentina in December may see an agreement on fisheries subsidies as the matter is seen as a low-hanging fruit and a clear deliverable.
India may agree to the proposal if special and differential treatment is ensured to developing countries allowing them a longer stretch of time for compliance.
The Doha Ministerial Conference launched negotiations to clarify and improve WTO disciplines on fisheries subsidies.
And at the Hong Kong Ministerial Conference in 2005, there was broad agreement on strengthening those disciplines, including through prohibition of certain forms of fisheries subsidies that contribute to overcapacity and overfishing.
Developed countries claim that fisheries subsidies, estimated to be in the tens of billions of dollars annually, create significant distortions in global fish markets and are a major factor contributing to overfishing and overcapacity and the depletion of fisheries resources.
Hence, they say, illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing should be prohibited.
But developing countries want to protect subsidies for low-income, resource-poor fishermen for whom it is a matter of livelihood.
“Fisheries will probably mature this time because a lot of ground has
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