San Diegans Who Care about the Environment Message Board › San Diegans Who Care about the Environment Discussion Forum › How does the TPP effect the oceans? (Trans-Pacific Partnership)
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How does the TPP effect the oceans?
Fisheries and the TPP
Fisheries are highly relevant to the TPP.
The Pacific Ocean accounts for 55 percent of marine wild capture production.
Fisheries are important economic sectors for all TPP countries. Five of the nine TPP countries (Australia, Malaysia, Peru, United States, and Vietnam) are among the top twenty countries in
wild capture production. The TPP countries in total account for about 22 percent of the world’s
wild capture production. If Japan is added, the figure becomes even larger, since Japan is the 6th largest producing country, accounting for approximately 5 percent of the world total by itself. The United States and Japan are the world’s largest importers of fish and fish products. As in all trade agreements, an important objective is to reduce trade distortions and promote a level playing field. This is also what we should aim to do with respective to fisheries in the TPP. The TPP can address two major fisheries trade issues -- subsidies and illegal fishing.
Subsidies always create unfair advantages for the subsidizing countries.
Many governments provide subsidies to their fishing sector for capital and operating costs. These subsidies allow fleets to fish longer, harder, and farther away than is economically possible or biologically sustainable.
These “overfishing subsidies” are estimated to be at least $17 billion annually, compared to an estimated value of the global catch between $80 billion and $100 billion annually. This is greater
than the subsidy intensity in agriculture.
Fisheries subsidies are particularly pernicious. Like subsidies in agriculture and manufacturing, fisheries subsidies place non-subsidizers at a commercial disadvantage, but (unlike other
subsidies) by contributing to over fishing they also deplete the underlying production resource
Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing
Likewise, illegal practices also create disadvantages for those who operate legally. In the case of fisheries, illegal practices include fishing in someone else’s waters, using illegal fishing gear, violating internationally agreed catch limitations, and selling falsely identified fish products. A recent study by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the cost of illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing at US$10 to 23.5 billion per year. In some fisheries, illegal fishing could account for more than 40 percent of the catch.
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