International trade in fish and fish products is booming. Production is increasing on the back of growing demand across the world. Preservation and transport of produce is becoming cheaper. Lower tariffs have helped, as has the coming in of 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zones.

More than half the value of exports is from developing countries of Low Income Food Deficit Countries (LIFDC). ICSF monitors this trade from the perspective of small-scale fishers, analysing international and regional trade regimes, disseminating information about relevant developments to fishworker bodies, civil society and policymakers.

ICSF explains ecolabelling and other forms of certification and their implications for small-scale fishing communities and food security. The aim is enhanced capacity of fisher organizations to deal with trade on an even keel.

ICSF follows negotiations related to fisheries subsidies and other fisheries-related debates at the World Trade Organization (WTO), and follows regional trade agreements, to inform small-scale fishers about their implications for their access to resources and markets.

Current Programmes

ICSF continues to monitor and analyze information on developments in international trade and regional trade regimes and to disseminate information about such developments to fishworker organizations, CSOs and policy makers.


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Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies Draft Text (WT/MIN(22)/W/20), 10 June 2022

This Agreement applies to subsidies, within the meaning of Article 1.1 of the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM Agreement) that are specific within the meaning of Article 2...

Seafood Obtained via Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated fishing: U.S. Imports and Economic Impact on U.S. Commercial Fisheries by USITC

This report is prepared by the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC or Commission) in response to a request by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means (Committee)...

TN/RL/GEN/200/Rev.1, 6 March 2020 By WTO, 2020

Negotiating group on rules original: Article [X]: Special and differential treatment: Communication from India, Revision

WTO members prepare to firm up legal text for fisheries subsidies agreement By WTO, 2020

At the 13 February informal meeting of the Negotiating Group on Rules, heads of WTO delegations took stock of the state of play of fisheries subsidies negotiations and discussed how...

Trade Policy Review Body – Trade Policy Review – Report by the Secretariat – Peru – Revision dated 13/02/2020 By WTO, 2020

Peru has an open economy, characterized by low tariff levels and few restrictions to international trade. Peru needs to tackle a number of challenges, including poverty reduction, better governance and...

Human Development Report 2019: Beyond income, beyond averages, beyond today: Inequalities in human development in the 21st century By HDR, 2019

In countries with very high human development, for example, subscriptions to fixed broadband are growing 15 times faster and the proportion of adults with tertiary education is growing more than...

Trade Policy Review Body – Trade policy review – Report by the Secretariat – Hong Kong, China – dated 30/01/2019 By WTO, 2019

This report, prepared for the eighth Trade Policy Review of Hong Kong, China, has been drawn up by the WTO Secretariat on its own responsibility. The Secretariat has, as required...

Trade Policy Review Body – Trade policy review – Report by the Secretariat – United States – Revision dated 27/03/2019 By WTO, 2019

This is the 14th Trade Policy Review of the United States. Since the last Review in 2016, the focus of U.S. trade policy has shifted to adopting policies that are...

Trade Policy Review Body – Trade policy review – Report by the Secretariat – Norway – Revision dated 23/01/2019 By WTO, 2019

Norway has an advanced economy with a per capita GDP among the highest in the world at NKr 621,400 (US$75,200) in 2017. Trade is important to the economy, with imports...

International fisheries access agreements and trade By Tatyana Chesnokova & Stephanie McWhinnie, Environmental and Resource Economics volume, 2019

International fishery access agreements allow fishermen from one country to harvest fish in another country’s waters. We empirically examine why countries sign fisheries access agreements with each other and compare...