Thursday, March 23, 2023

Switzerland first country to ratify historic WTO agreement on fisheries

Switzerland became this Friday the first country to ratify the international agreement for the elimination of fishing subsidies, reached last year at the XII Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in order to ensure that the sector be more environmentally sustainable.

As reported in a statement by the Swiss Ministry of Economy, the ratification document was delivered today by the minister of the portfolio, Guy Parmelin, to the director general of the WTO, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, during the Davos Forum.

The agreement, which required 21 years of negotiations, prohibits subsidies to vessels or operators that practice illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, as well as that which produces overexploitation of marine resources, and that practiced on the high seas (outside the national jurisdictions).

The measure will be applied in developed countries when the agreement enters into force, something that will only happen when it is ratified by two thirds of the 164 members of the WTO.

Developing nations are allowed a two-year adaptation period, provided it is within their jurisdictional waters (200 nautical miles from the coast).

The Swiss Ministry of the Economy stressed this Friday that the agreement reached in June last year “marks a great step forward towards the realization of sustainable development agreements.”


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