Pakistan Rejects WTO’s Global Deal on Fishing

Posted by: IIPS Category: Daily Insights Tags: Comments: 0

Recently, Pakistan has rejected the draft agreement presented by World Trade Organization (WTO) to prevent overfishing. Pakistan describes the deal as regressive and unaccommodating of the conditions of an under-developed country like Pakistan.

The WTO is aiming to reduce subsidies provided by state institutions to prevent overfishing around the world. However, Pakistan has shown concern about reducing subsidies as the country has a small fishing industry that needs assistance to survive. The fishing industry in Pakistan contributes only a meagre 1.2% to the country’s entire agricultural sector. Compared to countries like China, whose annual fish production is 69.96 million tons, Pakistan’s yearly production is negligible.

Globally, there has been an exponential increase in fishing, which poses a considerable threat to marine life and contributes towards its extinction. In addition, more than one-third of the world’s fish stock is overexploited. Experts in the field believe that governments providing billions of dollars in fishing subsidies is a significant factor supporting overfishing. The WTO aims to reduce these subsidies and prove that environment and trade can work hand-in-hand.

However, in underdeveloped countries like Pakistan, the local fishing industry is a basic subsistence for a considerable population. Therefore, if the government withdraws its subsidy support, it will pose a major threat to the local population’s livelihoods.

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IMARAT Institute of Policy Studies

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