Professor Sumaila is the Director of the Fisheries Economics Research Unit at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada. He specializes in bioeconomics, marine ecosystem valuation and the analysis of global issues such as fisheries subsidies, IUU (illegal, unreported and unregulated) fishing and the economics of high seas and deep seas fisheries. His pioneering research challenges the core tenets of traditional economics, prompting a rethink of the basic objectives of society with regards to oceans and fisheries. A prolific researcher and writer, he regularly also communicates with the public through print, broadcast, and online media interviews and expert commentary, as well as through social media. He has been awarded numerous prizes and awards, including the highly prestigious 2017 Volvo Environmental Prize, the 2017 Peter Benchley Award for Excellence in Science, and most recently the 2018 University of British Columbia President’s Award for Public Education through Media.
The period from 2019 to early 2020 will be critical in determining whether the World Trade Organization, tasked with eliminating harmful subsidies, will be able to deliver to the world an agreement that will discipline subsidies that lead to overcapacity and overfishing. In this presentation, I will first provide an update of the current scope, amount and types of subsidies given to the fisheries sector worldwide by public entities.
I then proceed to demonstrate why the world should eliminate and/or redirect subsidies that support the depletion of our vital marine ecosystems.
In particular, I explain why Africa and the developing world, in general, should be at the forefront of the fight to discipline subsidies that undermine the resource base upon which millions of lives depend on for food and livelihoods.