Portugal has demonstrated its commitment to supporting sustainable fisheries practices by donating EUR 50,000 (approximately CHF 48,000) to the WTO Fisheries Funding Mechanism. Ambassador Rui Macieira presented this contribution to WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on January 24.
Director-General Okonjo-Iweala expressed her gratitude for Portugal's donation and emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts in promoting the well-being of coastal communities and preserving marine resources worldwide through sustainable fisheries practices.
Ambassador Macieira highlighted Portugal's long-standing commitment to multilateral solutions for the sustainable management of the ocean. The Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies, reached in June 2022 at the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12), stands as a significant achievement in this regard. It prohibits harmful fisheries subsidies and marks the first WTO agreement focused on environmental concerns. Portugal's contribution to the Fish Fund underscores its dedication to meeting the targets outlined in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 and aiding least developed country members in implementing the Agreement.
Ambassador Macieira also expressed hope that MC13, scheduled to take place in Abu Dhabi, will witness progress toward reaching the two-thirds ratification threshold for the Agreement to enter into force and advancing negotiations.
The Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies will come into effect upon acceptance by two-thirds of the WTO membership, with half of the required acceptances already received. Given that the Agreement involves adjustments to members' legislative and administrative frameworks, transparency obligations, and fisheries management policies, Article 7 of the Agreement establishes a voluntary funding mechanism. This mechanism provides targeted technical assistance and capacity building to aid developing and least developed country members in implementing the Agreement.
Operated by the WTO in partnership with organizations like the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the World Bank Group, the fund leverages relevant expertise to support WTO members in achieving sustainable fisheries practices.