MJIEL Vol 6 Issue 3 2009 - Article 4


Abstract: The WTO Doha Development Round negotiations, as its name implies, is expected to improve the existing global trade regime in the direction of enhancing the interest of developing county Members. Such a developmental objective has also been confirmed, as a legal mandate, in the Doha and the Hong Kong Ministerial Declarations. However, in the case of fisheries subsidies talks, inter alia, it is found that both the draft text by the Chair of the Trade Negotiations Committee and the proposals by some WTO Members, while aiming at prohibiting fisheries subsidies that contribute to overcapacity and over-fishing, have failed to appropriately recognize the importance of the fisheries sector to developing country Members in terms of poverty reduction, food security and livelihood. Given that Small Vulnerable Economies (SVEs) are composed of island and coastal developing country Members and thus the fisheries sector is of even more particular significance to them, this paper, through comprehensively examining the ongoing negotiations on trade rules and exploring the potential negative impacts they may cause on SVEs, presents a series of countermeasures that should be taken in striking a balance between the prevention of over-fishing and SVEs’ development priorities.


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