Fishing subsidies disadvantage African countries, says Namibia’s fisheries minister

Namibia's fisheries minister has called on the World Trade Organization to ban fishing subsidies, as they put African countries at a disadvantage, reports All Africa.

Speaking during the commemoration of World Ocean Day on Saturday, Bernhard Esau said subsidies are a "major reason" why many African countries cannot develop their own fleets, given countries like Namibia do not offer them.  

"Namibia does not provide capacity enhancing fishing subsidies and we are opposed to them considering that they distort fair competition among fleets in our exclusive economic zone," said Esau. 

He called on WTO members convened in Geneza, Switzerland, to push for a ban.

During the last WTO summit in Buenos Aires in late 2017, the EU and US supported a ban on fishing subsidies. However, China and others fought against a blanket ban, proposing alternatives which made exemptions. These were also rejected. 


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