Fishing Problems: Perverse Subsidies

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Government subsidies to the tune of over US$15 billion each year have played a major role in allowing the world’s fishing fleet to become so large.

Officially, this money is intended to meet a variety of positive goals, including the maintenance of robust fishing communities.

But according to WWF’s 2001 review of global data on fishing subsidies, the money has artificially sustained more fishing vessels than the oceans can sustainably support.

These subsidies are paid by taxpayers all over the world. Japan is the largest subsidizer, giving US$2-3 billion annually to its fishing industry. Russia, which once had the largest fishing fleet in the world, pays US$600 million annually to help scrap old ships and replace them with modern trawlers. The United States spends nearly US$1 billion on fishing industry subsidies each year, while the EU forks out up to 1.4 billion Euros – or 14,000 Euros per boat.

Translation Goodplanet.info

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