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


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news