Indonesia Strives for the Interests of Small Fishermen at WTO Meeting

The RI delegation conveyed the statement at the WTO Meeting about the discussion of fisheries subsidies. Wednesday (14/6).


Geneva, Switzerland: IUU fishing is economically and socially damaging the interests of fishermen. The establishment of rules on the provision of fisheries subsidies in the WTO is assumed to be a powerful weapon in eradicating IUU fishing. Indonesia also holds that the interests of artisanal fishermen and small-scale fisheries should also be considered in establishing this rule.

This was confirmed by the RI Delegation while negotiating the regulation arrangement on fishery subsidy at the meeting of the negotiating group on rules (NGR) WTO in Geneva on (14-16/6). The negotiation specifically discussed the draft text proposed by a number of Latin American countries (GRULAC) and Indonesia. Thematic issues were also discussed, related to standstill, definition, transparency, and dispute settlement.

Indonesia has formally introduced its proposal at the NGR Meeting on June 6, 2017. Indonesia's proposals outlined the prohibition of subsidies that contribute to IUU fishing, overfishing and overcapacity, as well as providing flexibility, or known as special and differential treatment (SDT), to fishermen who depend on artisanal and small-scale fisheries.

Based on data from the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, currently there are approximately 868 thousand fishery business households that still need Government support.

For Indonesia, to carry out marine fisheries resource utilization activities as a driver of sustainable economic activity, it is not enough if it is done by one country only, but also requires global cooperation. The multilateral forum, one of which is the WTO, is seen as the right vessel to attain this.

The high enthusiasm of members in discussing the current fisheries subsidies issue in the WTO is not only to meet the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals agreed upon at the UN, but also in the context of negotiating the agreed results at the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference (KTM) in Buenos Aires, Argentina in coming December 2017.

Agreement on fishery subsidy disciplines will be a concrete contribution to global efforts in sustainable use of marine fisheries resources, including the eradication of IUU Fishing practices that have been the focus of the Government of Indonesia. Discussion of fisheries subsidies issues have been mandated in the Doha Development Agenda in 2001 and Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration 2005.

In this NGR meeting, Indonesia was represented by delegations from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Trade, Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, and the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia in Geneva. (PTRI Geneva)