September 14,2016

Press Contact:

Keith Chu (202) 224-4515 

Wyden Praises New Initiative To End Fishing Subsidies

Government Subsidies for Fleets Decimate Sensitive Fish Stocks and Damage Coastal Regions

WASHINGTON – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., praised a new effort to eliminate harmful fisheries subsidies, announced today by the U.S. and 12 other nations.

“Governments around the world are lavishing billions and billions in subsidies on their fishing fleets, to build more and bigger fishing boats, and use ever more extreme methods to harvest vast amounts of fish from the oceans,” Wyden said. “These subsidies contribute to an overfishing epidemic that is both decimating fish populations in our oceans and doing great damage to coastal communities, including many in Oregon, where residents rely on healthy fish stocks for their livelihood.”

“It is welcome news that the U.S. and 12 other nations have agreed to a new initiative at the World Trade Organization to ban these subsidies.  Both ministers and environmental leaders deserve enormous credit for their persistent commitment to address this challenge.”

The initiative announced today would address subsidies provided by governments to support fishing, including those that contribute to declining global fish stocks and illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing. Wyden held a hearing of the Senate Finance Committee Subcommittee on Trade in 2010 highlighting the negative effects of fisheries subsidies and wrote a letter to then-USTR Ron Kirk urging action at the WTO.