Suggesting a compromise between development and sustainability, Brazil and Argentina proposed new international trade rules last Monday that would allow developing countries to subsidize their fishing industries, but only as long as fish stocks were conserved, according to trade diplomats.
The joint proposal, raised during the Doha Development Agenda negotiations on a new global trade agreement at the World Trade Organization (WTO), rallied support from developing countries such as China and India, plus a "guarded welcome" from the United States and Australia, according to Reuters.
According to one recent report from the University of British Columbia, governments pay out an estimated $30 to $34 billion dollars per year to the fishing industry, with around $20 billion of these subsidies supporting boat construction, equipment, fuel, and miscellaneous operational costs. Overfishing and destructive fishing practices, say conservation groups, as well as an industry on the brink of going belly up, are the calamitous (and clammy) result. ::Reuters