Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


NZ makes strong stand on fish subsidies at WTO

NZ makes strong stand on fish subsidies at WTO

The Doha Round of WTO negotiations was the right place to begin to level the playing field in the fishing sector by cutting subsidies, Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said today.

Mr Sutton told a WWF-UNEP ministerial event at the Hong Kong World Trade Organisation meeting that it was as though rich, industralised nations were financing a high-tech mission to seek and destroy the last fish in the sea.

He said that fisheries subsidies rules were often referred to as that very rare thing – a “triple win” issue.

“That is, we have an opportunity to deliver a win for trade, a win for the environment, and a win for development. Ministers recognised this in Doha in 2001 when they singled out fisheries subsidies for urgent attention – and these goals remain just as valid today.”

Mr Sutton said global fisheries subsidies, estimated at a minimum of US$15 billion a year or about 20 per cent of seafood industry revenues, caused large trade distortions.

“No one can argue subsidies on this scale have no impact on trade. Fishers from developing countries face unfair competition from heavily subsidised competitors from rich industrialised nations. Yet the current subsidies rules just aren’t curbing this problem.

“For New Zealand, exports of fish and fish products provide the sector with more than 90% of its revenue, making this our fifth largest goods exporting sector – and it is not subsidised. We face very real challenges to compete with subsidised fisheries production in international markets. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that our industry’s survival is dependent on placing global fisheries on a sustainable footing.”

Mr Sutton said subsidies not only supported over-exploitation, they were a pernicious challenge to even the best-managed fisheries and a threat to those fisheries with room to expand.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Veronika Meduna: The Kaikoura Rebuild

A Scoop Foundation Investigation

Friday will be a big day for people north of Kaikōura – and for hundreds of construction workers who are racing to reopen State Highway 1 in time for the holiday season.

By the afternoon, the South Island’s main transport corridor will be open to traffic again, more than a year after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake mangled bridges and tunnels, twisted rail tracks and buried sections of the road under massive landslides. More>>


BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Defence Spending, Alabama, And Dolly Parton

The spending lavished on Defence projects to meet the risks that could maybe, possibly, theoretically face New Zealand in future is breath-taking, given how successive governments have been reluctant to spend even a fraction of those amounts on the nation’s actual social needs. More>>


Members' Bills: End Of Life Choice Bill Passes First Reading

The End of Life Choice Bill in the name of David Seymour has been sent to a select committee for consideration by 76 votes to 44. It is the third time Parliament has voted on the issue in recent decades and the first time such a Bill has made it over the first hurdle. More>>


State Sector: MPI Survives Defrag Of Portfolios

The Ministry for Primary Industries will not be split under the new government, but will instead serve as an overarching body for four portfolio-based entities focused on fisheries, forestry, biosecurity and food safety. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Vulnerable Kids, RNZ Funding, And Poppy

The decision to remove the word ‘vulnerable’ from the Ministry for Vulnerable Children could well mark a whole shift in approach to the care of children in need... More>>





Featured InfoPages