Selangor Journal
A fisherman separating the different types of fish caught in his haul, at Kampung Mengabang Lekor, Batu Rakit, in Kuala Nerus, Terengganu, on February 9, 2024. — Picture by BERNAMA

Malaysia ratifies WTO agreement on fisheries subsidies

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 27 — Malaysia has ratified the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Fisheries Subsidies Agreement (FSA), which is a global effort to curb harmful fishing subsidies and protect fish stocks.

Malaysia joins 68 other WTO members which have successfully ratified the FSA, said Investment, Trade, and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

He is currently attending the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, where the FSA was ratified.

The ratification demonstrated Malaysia’s commitment to global cooperation and responsible stewardship of its oceans.

“I urge all remaining (WTO) members to join us and accelerate their domestic ratification process and contribute to preserving marine biodiversity and the livelihoods of millions of people who depend on fishing.

“Our action and commitment today will ensure a better future for our children,” Tengku Zafrul said on social media today.

Adopted in June 2022, the FSA addresses key threats to oceans and promotes sustainable fishing practices. It is a powerful step towards eliminating illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, which contributes to overfishing, and thus preserves the delicate balance of marine ecosystems.

He added the FSA will also ensure that any subsidy on fishing activities provided by member countries is transparent and accountable.

“This transparency fosters responsible fishing practices and enables effective compliance monitoring,” Tengku Zafrul said.

The WTO will establish technical assistance and capacity-building programmes to help the developing and least developing countries integrate sustainability elements into their policies and strengthen their fisheries management systems.

— Bernama

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