Seafood is among the most globalized food commodities on the planet. Approximately half of the world’s exclusive economic zones are subject to foreign fishing arrangements that encourage international trade not only in fish but also in fishing services.
Globally, valuable fish resources are limited and, in many places, declining. Coastal island states rely heavily on healthy fish stocks for more than food and nutrition; over 300 million jobs and livelihoods rely on fisheries, many in developing countries. Better international arrangements can allow developing countries to derive greater economic benefits from these limited resources while protecting the health of the ocean.
Released today, Trade in Fishing Services: Emerging Perspectives on Foreign Fishing Arrangements, a World Bank commissioned report, explores the economic and legal consequences of foreign fishing arrangements in fishing services.
Benefiting from Foreign Fishing Services
"The impact of globalization in the fishing sector has come firmly to the forefront," says Árni Mathiesen, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations Assistant Director-General for Fisheries and Aquaculture. “There is one issue which clearly has not received the attention it deserves from an analytical perspective, and that is the issue of fishing services.”
While many recent reports have explored the commodities of the fishing industry, namely seafood, there is still little clarity on the impacts and distribution of benefits from fishing services such as monitoring, control, surveillance, harvesting, processing and shipping of seafood.
Using case studies from around the world, this report provides new insights on how international arrangements for foreign fishing services can increase the economic, social and environmental benefits for developing-country coastal states.
“Fisheries access arrangements have often been demonized as a license for the fleets of developed nations to 'rip off' fisheries resources of the world’s poorer countries,” says James Movick, Director-General of the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA). “This report illustrates how foreign arrangements can, under the right circumstances, benefit all parties.”