Sustainable fisheries

Financial Support to Fisheries: Implications for Sustainable Development
OECD Observer

The fisheries sector in OECD countries receives around $6.4 billion a year in transfers from governments. Around 38% of the transfers are provided for the management, research and enforcement of fisheries while 35% is directed to the provision of fisheries infrastructure, from harbour and landing facilities, to navigation services, and search and rescue support.

The remaining transfers are in the form of direct payments to the sector or transfers that the reduce costs of fishing, including vessel construction and modernisation payments, decommissioning schemes, income support, fuel tax exemptions and interest rate concessions, to name but a few.

All OECD countries provide some form of financial support to their fisheries sectors. The type and level of support vary greatly between countries and take the form of either general support, such as the provision of management, research and enforcement services, or more targeted support, such as payments for vessel construction and modernisation, income support, tax exemptions and loan guarantees.

But what impact do these various forms of support have on activity in the fisheries sector? How do they affect goals such as sustainable development, efficiency and prices?

A new report, Financial Support to Fisheries: Implications for Sustainable Development, explores the range of economic, environmental and social effects of financial support to the fisheries sector in OECD countries. It offers a broad insight into the efficacy of different types of support in meeting policy objectives, identifies actual and potential areas of policy incoherence, and highlights any trade-offs of different policy goals.

Financial Support to Fisheries: Implications for Sustainable Development, ISBN 9264036636

©OECD Observer No 254, March 2006

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