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February 27, 2021
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Countries Embarking on New Agreement to Prohibit Harmful Fisheries Subsidies

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Papua New Guinea is among nine countries embarking on a new agreement under the World Trade Organisation to prohibit harmful fisheries subsidies.

The initiative, according to Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Rimbink Pato, was highlighted at the Pacific Day Seminar in Washington D.C this week.

Minister Pato said fisheries subsidies are a major threat to the fisheries industry and the ocean and environment in general.

Fisheries subsidies estimated at $US 40 billion annually, contribute to over fishing, over capacity and illegal unregulated and unreported fishing in both domestic and international waters.

He acknowledged that just as the ocean generated trillions in world economy it was a source of income for millions and fed billions more.

Minister Pato said the conservation and sustainable management of fisheries posed an urgent challenge for the international community and Pacific Island Nations including PNG.

The initiative is expected to result in significant trade, economic, development and environment benefits and align with 2020 SDG plans to prohibit fisheries subsidies that contribute to over fishing and overcapacity.

Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Switzerland and Uruguay would be working closely to prepare for negotiations and lobby with the WTO membership to reach an agreement.

The U.S declared that as one of its measures towards ocean protection and conservation it was also backing the initiative.

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