Title

Strengthening European Union fisheries by removing harmful subsidies

Publication Name

Marine Policy

Abstract

Harmful fisheries subsidies have historically contributed to fleet overcapacity and continue to be allocated to the fishing industry to artificially maintain its profitability. However, in this contribution we show that removing harmful subsidies and reducing overfishing will help to recover the resource biomass, subsequently leading to increased levels of sustainable catches, income and well-being of fishers, and reduces inequities in income and consumption when fish stocks are not effectively managed. Maintaining harmful fisheries subsidies is socially and economically inefficient. Taking the example of the EU fishing fleet, one of the largest fishing fleets in the world, we use the total factor productivity to show that small-scale fishing fleet's productivity is almost two-fold in the North Atlantic and 16% higher in the Mediterranean and Black seas compared to large-scale vessels. This result is explained because the harmful fisheries subsidies disproportionately allocated to large-scale vessels introduce distortions in the efficient allocation of inputs. With critical WTO negotiations ongoing regarding the global rules on fisheries subsidies, the EU must take advantage of the opportunity to lead a desirable transformative change while also supporting developing nations to truly achieve global sustainable and equitable fisheries.

Open Access Status

This publication may be available as open access

Volume

136

Article Number

104884

Funding Number

101002784

Funding Sponsor

Pew Charitable Trusts

Share

COinS
 

Link to publisher version (DOI)

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2021.104884