On 12 September 2023, members of the Stop Funding Overfishing (SFO) coalition delivered an updated statement to World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala calling upon world leaders to work swiftly to ratify the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies and complete the second round of negotiations on outstanding issues.
The statement was delivered at the launch of the WTO’s Fish Count Map, which will provide a real-time tally of how many members have already ratified the Agreement, held during the Public Forum, the WTO’s largest annual outreach event.
The long-awaited Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies is a critical step towards ensuring the ocean’s sustainability, but real change will only occur once it enters into force. This can only happen once it’s ratified by at least two-thirds of the WTO membership—110 countries.
The new SFO statement, signed by 180 organizations, demonstrates continued global civil society support for the Agreement and emphasises the need urgent to ratify, implement and strengthen it. Only by doing this can WTO members address the root cause of overfishing – subsidies to overcapacity and overfishing – and take a crucial step forward to securing a sustainable future for the communities that depend on our ocean.