Subsidy Reform and Distributive Justice in Fisheries

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February 2019
International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)

While most fisheries are already overexploited, many governments allocate capacity-enhancing subsidies to the fishing sector, encouraging further overfishing. Target 14.6 of Sustainable Development Goal 14 and WTO negotiations to eliminate harmful subsidies both call for action on reform. Although the impacts of subsidies on fishing stocks are relatively well understood, their impacts on distribution and equity are less so. This paper analyses and discusses options for addressing equity concerns in fisheries subsidy reform and calls for governments to consider the impacts of subsidies and subsidy reform on vulnerable social groups.