Fisheries - Hooked on Handouts?


Subsidies can help the fishing industry to develop by financing management, research, technological improvements and other activities in the common interest. They can also cause damage by encouraging the building of too many boats or making it worthwhile to continue fishing even at the risk of damaging stocks. Subsidies also give an unfair advantage to fishers from nations that can afford them. Yet it is hard to obtain agreement on a more rational, sustainable approach to subsidies, and it is hard even to get countries to agree on what actually constitutes a subsidy.


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Chapter 7 looks at how subsidies are defined and explain the differences in estimates of how much they are worth. Next, we’ll examine the economic and other impacts on the fishing industry, and the political difficulties in reforming them. But first, we’ll look at why subsidies attract so much attention.


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