Monday, June 8, 2009
Pascal Lamy, the Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) used the first UN World Oceans Day to note that some species are at risk of extinction due to overfishing and that government subsidies for fisherman are partly to blame. According to Lamy, governments have subsidized the fisheries sector to the tune of $16 billion annually, which keeps more boats on the water and fewer fish in the sea. U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk echoed Lamy's statements, saying that the United States is working with the WTO to to create stronger rules against harmful fish subsidies that contribute to overcapacity and overfishing. According to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), 80% of the world's fisheries are under pressure due to overfishing and environmental hazards, such as carbon dioxide emissions.
(mew and cgb)