Since 2019, EJN has been implementing a project in India focused on increasing the coverage of fisheries subsidies issues. We’re now launching phase 2, which will expand the project’s focus globally and to other regions where subsidies have a major impact on fishing.
The project aims to increase the global coverage of fisheries issues as the World Trade Organization continues negotiating a new international agreement addressing harmful subsidies in the fishing industry.
Covering the impact of subsidies has never been more important. Every year, governments around the world spend more than US$22 billion supporting the fishing industry with gear, operating costs, new construction, and other improvements. Those subsidies have allowed vessels to catch more fish than can be naturally regenerated, and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) currently estimates a third of fish stocks are used unsustainably.
Along with the effect subsidies have on ocean biodiversity and fish stocks, the livelihoods of small fishers in countries the world over are also at risk, as the subsidies often flow to the most well-connected firms, exacerbating the inequity between large- and small-scale fishing.
In order to support journalists covering fisheries issues, EJN plans to host a series of webinars on the topic, allowing journalists a chance to deepen their knowledge of global subsidies issues, increase their ability to report on these issues in their communities and engage with experts on the existing research and possible solutions.
The webinar series will begin with a global focus on May 4, when we will bring together experts who have a worldwide perspective on the issue. Those interested in attending can register here. Following that, we will host webinars over the subsequent weeks in India, the Caribbean, two in Africa for French and English speakers, and most likely a final one in Japan.
To complement the webinar series, we will also be releasing a story grant opportunity in May that will be open to journalists from everywhere in the world, with a preference for those from the regions where we are also hosting webinars. The funding will be focused on supporting journalists covering the role and impact of fisheries subsidies in their communities and exploring potential solutions. Please keep on the lookout for this upcoming opportunity.
Both phase 1 and phase 2 of this project are being carried out with the support of the Pew Charitable Trusts.
Banner image: Small-scale fishermen hauling in their catch off the coast of Kochi, India / Credit: EJN grantee Sibi Arasu.