Nigeria ratifies WTO agreement on fishing subsidies -The territorial waters of West Africa, reputed to be among the world’s richest in fish, are no exception to the scourge of illegal fishing. In the face of this phenomenon, which threatens the sustainability of resources, international cooperation is being stepped up.
On 12 June, Nigeria ratified the international agreement on fishing subsidies by submitting its instrument of acceptance to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The announcement was made in a press release published on the WTO website.
The treaty, adopted at the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference held in Geneva from 12 to 17 June 2022, prohibits subsidies for fishing or fishing-related activities concerning an overexploited stock, as well as any form of support for illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
Nigeria’s accession officially makes it the 1st country in the West African region to ratify the agreement, and the second on the African continent following the accession of the Seychelles last March.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director General of the WTO, also expects this move by the Nigerian authorities to arouse the interest of other countries in the region to join the cause. “I am deeply grateful to Nigeria for formally accepting the WTO agreement on fisheries subsidies. Nigeria’s approval adds to the growing number of members who have approved the agreement. So far, we have only received about a third of the total approval we need for the agreement to enter into force”, said the official.
It should be remembered that the WTO agreement on fishing subsidies requires the approval of 109 member countries of the organisation for its entry into force.
In Nigeria, the fishing industry provides a source of income for more than 24 million people. In Nigeria, the economic losses linked to IUU fishing practices amount to nearly $70 million a year, according to WTO data.
Nigeria ratifies WTO agreement on fishing subsidies