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Subsidy reform and distributive justice in fisheries

While most fisheries are already overexploited, many governments allocate capacity-enhancing subsidies to the fishing sector, encouraging further overfishing. Target 14.6 of Sustainable Development Goal 14 and WTO negotiations to eliminate harmful subsidies both call for action on reform. Although the impacts of subsidies on fishing stocks are relatively well understood, their impacts on distribution and equity are less so. This paper analyses and discusses options for addressing equity concerns in fisheries subsidy reform and calls for governments to consider the impacts of subsidies and subsidy reform on vulnerable social groups.

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Fisheries resources that support the livelihoods of millions of women and men are under threat due to overfishing and pollution. IIED is exploring how governments can use fiscal instruments – such as taxes and subsidies – to deliver positive socioeconomic and environmental outcomes for sustainable and inclusive fisheries management.

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Delivering sustainable fisheries through fiscal incentives

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