26 Jul 2018 - WTO members in the Negotiating Group on Rules exchanged views and information on disciplines to prohibit subsidies to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing at their 24-26 July cluster of meetings on fisheries subsidies (the third such cluster this year). Members also discussed how to organize the negotiating work in September-December, with a mix of activities including technical sessions, brainstorming, text-based discussions and time for bilateral meetings among delegations.
In line with the structure of previous clusters of meetings held in May and June, the July meetings began with presentations by fisheries management experts on processes for determining IUU fishing. Members then held a thematic discussion focused on issues surrounding subsidies to IUU fishing, including special and differential treatment for developing country and least developed country (LDC) members. Members had the opportunity to use allotted time for bilateral meetings among themselves as well.
Members also continued their work to streamline various proposals relating to "transitional provisions" for the new disciplines, along with "institutional arrangements" including for review of the implementation of fisheries subsidies disciplines after entry into force. The latest version of the document containing the streamlined texts is available here.
At the concluding session of the meeting, the chair of the Negotiating Group, Ambassador Roberto Zapata Barradas (Mexico), noted delegations' high level of engagement throughout the cluster, and the participation of a number of capital-based officials. He also pointed to the many questions and gaps that remain in the work to develop disciplines on subsidies to IUU fishing, which he hoped the work envisaged for the autumn would help to disentangle.