Spain is making a contribution of €EUR 2 million to the WTO Fisheries Funding Mechanism to assist developing members and least-developed country members in implementing the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies. Spain’s Secretary of State for Trade Xiana Méndez presented the contribution to WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on 13th November.
]I am very grateful to Spain for its EUR 2 million donation to the Fisheries Funding Mechanism. Spain’s support comes at a pivotal moment in WTO members’ push for the swift entry into force of the historic Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies, so that it can start contributing to the health of our oceans. This generous contribution will bolster worldwide efforts to implement the Agreement, improve fisheries management, and prevent the widespread depletion of marine fish stocks,’ director-general Okonjo-Iweala said.
‘As a big fishing nation and the largest fishing nation in the European Union, Spain considers fisheries’ sustainability as crucial. Therefore, fighting illegal fishing and restoring overfished stocks is a must,’ Xiana Méndez said.
‘Also, as a country in which seafood is deeply rooted in our culture and gastronomy, and hence as one of the largest consumers and importers of seafood, we need to know the fish we eat does not come from illegal fishing nor overfished stocks. In addition to that, we have been holding the Presidency of the European Council since July and we felt we had the responsibility to prove the EU’s commitment to the Fisheries Subsidies Agreement and to this Fund. This combination of factors has made it possible to disburse EUR 2 million and become the fund’s largest donor so far.’
Because the new Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies will involve adjustments and enhancements to WTO members’ legislative and administrative frameworks, their transparency and notification obligations, and their fisheries management policies and practices, Article 7 of the Agreement provides for the creation of a voluntary funding mechanism to provide targeted technical assistance and capacity building to help developing and least-developed country members with implementation.
The fund is operated by the WTO with partner organisations, namely the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the World Bank Group, which bring to bear relevant expertise and allow the WTO to utilise its own expertise.