UNEP has undertaken a variety of country projects in the fisheries sector, focusing on the impacts of trade liberalization on fisheries resources and the interaction between fisheries subsidies and fisheries management policies. Currently, UNEP's Economics and Trade Branch, in collaboration with Sustainable Production and Consumption Branch, is implementing three country demonstration projects in the fisheries sector. Under the common objective of "Reforming trade and fisheries policies, re-shaping supply chains and enhancing consumer demand for sustainable fisheries management", country teams in Ecuador, Southern Africa and Vietnam explore public policy reforms related to fisheries management, subsidies and trade, as well as corresponding private sector voluntary actions, and supply chain interventions. The core of these country projects is to provide a set of national and regional capacity-building activities aimed at improving the sustainable production and consumption of fish and fish products.
Ecuador: Fisheries Subsidies Reform
Based on cooperation between the Permanent Commission for the South Pacific (CPPS) and several ministries, the Ecuadorian country team will assess the impact of domestic and foreign subsidies on the Ecuadorian tuna’s sustainability and trade. The project seeks to help Ecuador and other CPPS member countries to develop strategies for national, regional and international (WTO) subsidies policy to secure their best long-term interest for both their fisheries and development objectives.
Southern Africa: Capacity Building for Fisheries Certification
The Institute for Security Studies (ISS, Capetown) will coordinate three country studies – South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique – with the aim of building capacity for certification of fisheries in Southern Africa. While certification is increasingly regarded as a proactive mechanism to improve sustainable fish exploitation, developing countries face particular challenges in implementing such voluntary schemes. The project will identify obstacles and promote opportunities related to certification and supply chain partnerships to advance sustainable fisheries management.
Vietnam: Fisheries Subsidies, Certification and Supply Chain Issues
Vietnam’s Institute of Fisheries Economics and Planning (VIFEP), jointly with WWF Vietnam, will work on the issue of fisheries subsidies reform, as well as on certification and supply chain issues. Separate analyses via field studies and stakeholder consultation will flow into an integrated consideration of common obstacles and overall recommendations at the interface between private and public sector reform. The project will draw upon related work previously undertaken in Vietnam by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Le gouvernement mauritanien s'efforce actuellement d'assurer la sécurité alimentaire et l'utilisation durable de ses ressources marines tout en accroissant la compétitivité de son secteur halieutique au sein du système commercial international. Afin d'identifier les politiques et les incitations qui répondent à ces besoins, la présente étude fournit une évaluation approfondie des impacts économiques, sociaux et environnementaux de la libéralisation du commerce sur le secteur des pêches mauritaniens. Les résultats obtenus soulignent le besoin urgent d'approches stratégiques intégrées au niveau de l'élaboration des politiques, de la planification et de la gestion du secteur halieutique mauritanien. Cela requiert de veiller à concilier les exigences relatives au régime commercial international, à l'environnement, à l'éthique et à la démocratie dans la poursuite de la réalisation des objectifs nationaux de réduction de la pauvreté et de croissance économique.
Fishing plays a vital role in the Senegalese economy and society as it contributes significantly to reducing the national balance of payments deficit, creating employment and meeting the protein needs of the local population. The fisheries sector in Senegal, however, is currently facing serious socio-economic problems, which have led to overfishing and the use of harmful gear. This publication (2004) presents an action plan that could contribute to the preservation and sustainable promotion of Senegal's fisheries resources. Endorsed by local fishermen, industry representatives and government officials, the study offers a set of policy recommendations, including the regulation of resource access for small-scale fishing, the involvement of local councils, improved enforcement of existing regulations, and greater involvement of local stakeholders in the implementation of resource access rights.
The export of fishery products is a prominent economic activity in Bangladesh amounting to 7 per cent of total exports. This study (2004) investigates the link between subsidies and the level of production in the Bangladesh fisheries sector. Its main objective was to increase the policy makers' understanding of the intricate relationship between the environment and fisheries subsidies and support them in promoting productive but yet sustainable fishing industries. The study provides a detailed assessment of environmental and socio-economic effects and shows that it is difficult to establish a causal link between subsidies and the level of production. Given the sector's low level of development and lack of any effective guiding mechanisms, the study recommends a number of specific measures to further develop Bangladesh's fishing industry in a sustainable manner.
The Argentine and Senegalese studies (2003) presented in this report were conducted within the framework of two broader UNEP Country Projects that involved the collaboration of a number of individuals and organizations. Each of these projects aimed to assess the environmental and related social and economic effects of trade liberalization and trade-related policies, as well as to develop policy response packages that contribute to mitigating the negative impacts and enhancing the positive impacts identified through the assessments.
Integrated Assessment of Trade Liberalization and Trade-Related Policies A Country Study on the Argentina Fisheries Sector This study, published in 2002, is part of the second round of UNEP/ETB's country studies on Integrated Assessment of Trade Liberalization and Trade-Related Policies . It analyses the social, environmental and economic impacts of Argentina's Structural Adjustment Policies on the fisheries sector. Dealing with a sector that is almost exclusively export-oriented, the study provides a stark example of the environmental effects of trade liberalization and the socio-economic impact of these changes that occurred during the 1990s. This study proposes a whole series of economic instruments for sustainable management that can be implemented in order to benefit from trade in the fisheries sector, and at the same time maintain natural capital, develop the industry and generate employment. In order to empower governments seeking to respond to these effects by designing integrated policies that minimize the environmental damage associated with trade liberalisation, the data collection and empirical research have been carried out by A rgentinean policy research institutions.
Integrated Assessment of Trade Liberalization and Trade-Related Policies A Country Study on the Fisheries Sector in Senegal This study (2002) is part of the second round of UNEP/ETB's country studies on Integrated Assessment of Trade Liberalization and Trade-Related Policies . Its purpose is to examine the effects of trade liberalization and other trade-related policies on the fisheries sector in Senegal. The findings of this study show that the various trade policies, such as the free zone and the free exporting company status, the Lomé Agreement and export subsidies, have favoured a volume rather than value-based growth of the fishing sector. This study suggests that the sector cannot cope with these difficulties unless a rational management based on resource conservation and product valorisation is encouraged. As in the other country studies, local data collection and empirical research have been carried out by Senegalese research institutions.
Environmental Impacts of Trade Liberalization and Policies for the Sustainable Management of Natural Resources: A Case Study on Uganda's Fisheries Sector This report on Uganda's fisheries sector, published in 1999, is part of the first round of country studies under UNEP's “ Capacity Building for Integrating Environmental Considerations into Development Planning and Decision-Making ” programme. The basic aim of this study is to identify the environmental impacts of Structural Adjustment Programmes on Uganda's fisheries industry, and to examine both their positive and negative impacts on economic, social and environmental systems. The study proposes an array of policy mechanisms and economic instruments that can be implemented to maintain the sustainability of fisheries' resources and ensure their continued economic exploitation. In particular, it finds that an array of policy measures are needed to deal in particular with the overfishing, the pollution of the water bodies, the social problems that threaten the fishing industry and the quality deficiencies that restrict Uganda's export markets. The study further identifies the need for a regional environmental cooperation and harmonisation of relevant national policies to manage the Lake Victoria fisheries. As in all country studies, data collection and empirical research have been undertaken by national research institutes.
Environmental Impacts of Trade Liberalization and Policies for the Sustainable Management of Natural Resources: A Case Study on Bangladesh's Shrimp Farming Industry This report on Bangladesh's Shrimp Farming Industry (1999) is part of the first round of country studies under UNEP's “ Capacity Building for Integrating Environmental Considerations into Development Planning and Decision-Making ” programme. This study aims to represent the complex trade-environment dynamics in the shrimp industry and to discuss innovative strategies that manage emerging environmental problems of the shrimp industry in Bangladesh. The study finds that even though, at the moment, economic gains outweigh the environmental costs, conclusions have to be made carefully because environmental costs are far-reaching and the impact may be observed later over a long period of time. Moreover, some of the environmental impacts such as biodiversity losses are irreversible. In light of this, the study proposes an array of market- and non-market based measures that support the sustainability of Bangladesh's shrimp farming industry. Like, all country studies commissioned by UNEP/ETB, the work for this study was carried out by a set of national team members, and supplemented with inputs from a wide group of national constituents that participated in consultation.