Is it the end of the line for fisheries subsidies in coastal Africa?

a fishing boat pulling in a net at sunset
Is it the end of the line for fisheries subsidies in coastal Africa?

Fisheries sectors in coastal Africa and across the world are experiencing an unprecedented crisis, driven by intense competition for marine resources. For decades, many governments have provided harmful subsidies to their fishing fleets to bolster their capabilities to increase catch, both domestically and in other countries’ waters, allowing them to drastically increase their capacity and profits. Although these subsidies are often promoted as efforts to help small-scale fishers, they often end up subsidizing overfishing, increasing fishing fleet capacity, and contributing to the unregulated plundering of other countries’ fish stocks.

For the past 20 years, members of the World Trade Organization have been negotiating to reform fisheries subsidies. With these negotiations due to be completed this year, where do African countries, including South Africa and Kenya, stand in these negotiations? With this upcoming reform that could shake the sector, who will be the biggest winners and losers of a new WTO agreement?

This media capacity-building webinar is specifically aimed at journalists in Africa and features some of the region's experts on the subject. You can view Dr. Sumaila's presentation by clicking on his name below.


  • Dr. Rashid Sumaila – Professor, Ocean and Fisheries Economics, University of British Columbia
  • Alice Tipping – Sustainable Trade and Fisheries Subsidies Lead, International Institute for Sustainable Development
  • Beatrice Gorez – Coordinator, Coalition for Fair Fisheries Arrangements
  • Wanjohi Kabukuru – Experienced Oceans & Fisheries Journalist based in Kenya



  • Mona Samari – Co-founder, West Africa Fisheries Journalism Group

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