Fiji is leading the fight to ensure that the World Trade Organisation’s Fisheries Subsidies Agreement is successfully implemented.

This agreement is the first WTO agreement to focus on sustainability and the environment by prohibiting harmful fisheries subsidies and was adopted during the Ministerial Conference in June 2022.

Under this agreement, members agree to consider the legality and sustainability of the fishing they subsidise.
Fiji joins 40 other WTO members who have ratified the fisheries subsidies agreement.

However, Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the WTO Ambassador Luke Daunivalu is worried that it is too soon to celebrate as another round of negotiations is expected at the ministerial conference in Abu Dhabi next February.

“But this is the biggest focus for Fiji and the Pacific here in Geneva in the World Trade Organisation, we’re working closely with the African, Caribbean as a Pacific bloc.”

Ambassador Daunivalu said he is looking to find common positions with Australia and New Zealand and bridge gaps with other developing countries that are major fishing nations to ensure that the agreement is passed.

“Many of whom we have close bilateral relations with, but when it comes to fisheries and fishing we have an uphill battle, we have tough discussions that we have yet to cross.”

For the agreement to take effect, two-thirds of WTO members must deposit their acceptance instruments.

This achievement will help Fiji prevent the annual loss of millions of dollars to illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.

The Fijian Parliament ratified the treaty last month.